I saw this video a few days ago from a friend on Facebook. It impacted me greatly. My wish, no my prayer is that each of us would take this message to heart. That we would embrace who we are. That we would be comfortable in our own skin. That we could be comfortable being who He created us to be. So my friends, I pray for you today, to take a step with me and together to Be You Bravely.
I posted this on Facebook a couple days ago, but wanted to share it here as well. I feel like this is a powerful message about how we view ourselves as women. Far too often we are hard on ourselves and only look at the outside image, when we should be looking at the total image of ourselves, from the inside out. I hope this brightens your day. I hope this lets you believe that you are enough. I hope this will help you see what I see. You are beautiful my friends!
Today we have my good friend, Kelley Raetzsch, as our guest blogger. This article was first published on Kelley’s blog over at Fredericksburg Parent. I loved it and felt it is another aspect of identity and wanted to share it with you. Be blessed my friends.
Fitness for Optimal Living
Written by Kelley Raetzsch
Take care of yourself.
My brother in-law spoke these words to me as we departed from our recent family vacation. I took these words to heart along with great conversations about food and physical activity. Before I tell you more consider this:
What comes to mind when you hear “fitness”?
Is it how your body looks?
Is it how well you can perform physical activity?
As I replayed the encouragement “take care of yourself” I considered other areas of fitness in my life. We must consider that our physical fitness is only one area of life where we benefit from being fit. How fit are you?
Physical Fitness. Get moving! Physical activity is known to keep illness and disease at bay, improve mood, increase energy, promote better sleep and achieve and maintain healthy weight. By the way, did you know some individuals can be FIT and FAT? Check out this great book:
Food Fitness. How well do you pay attention to what you are feeding your body? Are you fit with food? Does your intake include a variety of foods from all food groups? If you are missing complete food groups, counting calories or points, obsessing over what you ate, worried about gaining weight from eating certain foods, letting the scale or current diet control what you can and cannot eat, you may not be fit with food.
Spiritual Fitness. How do you express and engage in spirituality? Personally, I am Christian and aim to strengthen my relationship with God. Honestly, I have struggled recently in this area and might consider myself out of shape!! How can you get fit with spirituality? Check out this guide:
Family Fitness. Whether you are parents, grandparents, foster parents, etc., do you engage and participate with your family regularly and in positive ways? In my stage of life, I take the 15 minute drive home to clear my head of the da’ys work clutter and fill it with readiness to receive the energy of my two boys! When I don’t take this time, my family fitness diminishes. Can you relate?
Relationship Fitness. This is very similar to family fitness. Do you make time for those who are important to you? How do you spend that time. I’m out of shape in this area too, but I have a plan in place to get fit. My best friend and I have to schedule each other as appointments to make sure we can see each other consistently. Personally, I need this time to get regenerated in some areas of my life!
Mental Fitness. Oh boy, this one has been tough lately, too! I have allowed more negative thoughts to take space in my mind. Not good! I am diligently working to replace them with positive, life giving thoughts! Additionally, this can refer to keeping my mind sharp through learning, reading, and brain teasers! How’s your mental fitness?
Others? What are other areas of fitness we should consider in our lives? How fit do you consider yourself after thinking about fitness beyond the physical aspect?
See more at: http://www.fredericksburgparent.net/blogs/love-your-body
Hello friends. I am continuing on with the identity series today with my own personal story. First, I want to say that this has been and still is my personal journey. I am by no means completely where God wants me, but I have come a long way.
I think we all at some point in time ask ourselves, who am I, why am I even here on this earth? Who is it that I want to be? I do think some people in life come up with great answers, however I believe that most of us really just don’t know. Far too often we learn to define ourselves through our surroundings, things we have, or own, and I think many of us define ourselves through what we think others, think of us. In reality none of these things have anything to do with who we truly are. I have found in my life it has been hard to discover who I really am, and even when I do, I don’t always like what I find. Thankfully, that is where God comes in. We don’t have to stay who we currently are, God has given us the power to change.
Now I could truly start at the beginning of my story, you know I was born and grew up in the country, blah, blah, blah, but the only thing I will say about that is, when I was young we moved a lot. I was always the new kid, and being an introvert, I always had a hard time making new friends. I grew up in the beautiful Appalachian mountains. I have lots of wonderful memories of hiking, cutting wood and our own Christmas trees and living a country lifestyle that comes along with growing up in a small rural town. When I was fourteen my family moved to Fredericksburg and we have been here even since. Being the new kid in high school and having a heavy southern accent had lots repercussions, but I survived and am better for it. I share this little part of my childhood to say this, I already had formed a bad self-image before I ever hit adulthood, as most of us do. But what I really want to talk about is, how by the time I was in my twenties, I had no idea who I was, or who God created me to be. I was totally lost. I had tried to put everything into my life that I thought would make me happy and I wasn’t.
I was raised in a Christian home, was saved when I was six , and had Jesus as my friend for as long as I remember. I have always talked to Jesus as, just that, my friend. My parents loved me, took care of me, and I was a smart girl. But no matter what happened along the way, I still had a bad self-image, and did not know who I was. As a teenager I had an idea of what I wanted my life to look like. I dreamed of the future and made plans for my future self. When I was young I rarely lived in the moment. I was always dreaming about the future and how great it would be. I had lots of ideas of what my life would look like. Now that is not necessarily bad, but I was building up an expectation and image in my head. I wasn’t praying about what God had for me, I was coming up with ideas on my own. Then I set out to make them all happen. A husband, a career, children, a home, even down to the pets that I wanted.
– don’t hide behind a façade. I had become very good
at fooling myself and everyone around me, only
letting people see what I wanted them to see.
I realized that I was not close to anyone.
By the time I was twenty five, many of those things had happened for me. I was married. We had three kids, a house, and we even owned a business. We worked hard. We were young and I wanted to prove that we had a great life. I REALLY wanted a great life. But I was depressed, lost and unhappy. At the time, I was a stay at home mom, and sometimes I thought that maybe giving up so much to stay home was why I was unhappy. We had financial problems, maybe that was it. My husband and I had been married for almost four years and the “in love wild days were gone”, maybe that was why. We had other problems and struggles too, but what I came to realize was, I was not free. I was letting everything around me determine how I felt about me and who I was. I had filled my life with my own image. I was so busy living my life and hiding behind a facade, that I was scared to leave it behind. I was too busy trying to be comfortable and trying to impress the world, that I did not stop to look at and listen to God. I didn’t look at the one who could show me who he wanted me to be. Too busy, to look at my maker, who has called us to him and given us a purpose. Somewhere along the way, I had lost myself. Lost my self through sin, hurt, betrayal, and rejection. Then trying to find my way, I left my true self behind and taken on a false identity, my façade, to keep me safe. I filled my life with things. A house, a car, pets, homeschooling, church duties, hobbies, and even my friends and family. Now all of these things can be wonderful. These things to have, and the people to share our lives with. But if we are defining ourselves through these things and even through our loved ones, we are just trying to create an image. Maybe we are just finding a place to hide. Hiding in a facade we have created. This is where I was, and I was looking at a stranger, someone I didn’t even know, someone I didn’t even like. I wanted that to change. And now I had one question. Where do I go from here?
So the point that I am making is that I had set myself up to fail by creating my own image of what my life and I should look like. I had created an ungodly expectation.
I want to leave you with this thought. How many things have you done or put into your life by trying to create an image of what you think happiness and success look like?
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
II Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
I’m continuing the identity series today with a post about how the enemy uses our lack of knowledge of who we are to spin a web of lies that ensnares us.
-The enemy wants us to believe a lie. He does not want you to come into the revelation of who you are and who God created you to be.
We are born into sin, and the devil starts lying to us the first chance he gets. He fills our minds with lies, about who we are, why we were created, and where we are going. He tells us we are ugly, unwanted, a mistake, incapable of chance, unworthy, and that we will never succeed at anything. He asks us questions like, who do you think you are? Why would anyone want you? What makes you think you are important? He plays on our emotions to make these lies seem true. We become focused on ourselves and begin to believe the lies he weaves. We believe it is what others see and think too. Then when someone or something lines up with the lies it makes it even more real and easier to believe.
For many of us, even if we were raised as Christians, we were never told the truth. We were not told who we are, who God created us to be, and who he is in us. For those who were raised in the world, and even many Christians, the enemy’s lies have taken hold. When we do hear God’s voice, it sounds muffled, distant, and foreign. Like strangers in a foreign land, we have come to understand the native language more easily than Gods language. We do not understand what God is trying to say. Yes we are saved and not of this world, but we have lived here so long that the language has become familiar, even comfortable. Because we live in the world, and are used to listening to the world, it is easier to believe in the lie than the truth. The enemy loves this. Sometimes, what God tell us seems so foreign, that we reject it. We reject the very life he is trying to give us. The truth that he speaks to us, we do not understand. It goes in and we say what? That isn’t what I have been told all my life, can it possibly be true? So we go on believing the lies and negative words spoken over us and about us.
However, with enough truth spoken, with prayer, and renewing our minds, we can see that the very life he is trying to give us is right there. We just have to reach out, open the door and walk through. We just have to believe. We have to start recognizing the lies and declare the truth instead of the lie. The more we put in God’s truth, the easier it becomes to believe his truth and see the lies of the enemy and of the world. We will go into more of how to do this as this series continues. But for now I would encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to start speaking to you and revealing lies that you have come to believe. Until next time, be blessed my friends.
I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
I have wanted to start a series on identity for some time now. It is something that is dear to my heart and call as a Christian. My true heart is to see people set free, healed and aligned in the Kingdom where they belong. To do that, we need to know who we are in Christ. In this series I will address three areas. In the first area I will present the problem. The second area will be my own personal story. The third area will be tools and solutions. I hope this series will minister to you and encourage you.
I think we suffer as Christians because we suffer with identity crisis, both as individuals and as the Body of Christ. We don’t receive God’s full love or walk in our God given authority because we fail to ask God who we are and what he wants us to be. If we truly grasp that we are here on this earth to first and foremost be loved and for God’s glory, then we would stop trying so hard to earn God’s love and approval. Instead, we would be seeking His face to ask who we are and what he wants our walk to look like. We would stop comparing ourselves to others and start comparing ourselves to the changes in our lives from glory to glory and comparing ourselves to the person God wants us to be.
I think since we don’t know who we are in Christ it leaves a whole lot of room for other false beliefs about ourselves to be formed. We listen to our culture and society. We listen to people around us. We listen to the enemy. Since we don’t know who we are, we will believe almost anything we are told about ourselves. That needs to change. That has to change.
It is not who we are that matters, but whose we are. We belong to Christ and he paid a price for us. Who are we to not honor that price and walk in the ways he has called us? Who are we to not walk in our true identity in Christ?
Think about this. God created the whole universe and still knows every hair on your head. He made the oceans, the mountains and he made me. I think that is one reason I love the ocean and the mountains. They are so big , and I am so small, yet God knows the hairs on my head. Amazing. I think he made everything so big, to remind us how important we are to him. He loves us beyond what we could ever imagine. He has plans for us. So I think that is the first thing we need to grab onto. We are important to our heavenly Father and he has plans for us. How different would our lives be, if we truly walked in who we are called to be? Something to think about. Be blessed my friends.
Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.
Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what is the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.
Hello friends. It is my goal to feature other bloggers at My Sound Mind. This week I have an article from one of my best friends, Kelley Raetzsch. You can learn more about Kelley and what she does here http://vlnutrition.com/
I hope you enjoy the article as much as I did.
Okay, so the title is definitely cliche’, but we still battle the daily look in the mirror as we wait for it to tell us about our beauty. Unfortunately, for many women, the mirror is another source of negativity, shame and lies. There are many sources out there telling us we should not be okay with our body, especially if we have bumps, lumps, bulges or other “undesirables”. Friends and family may comment on weight or size, plastic surgery faciltites tell us we could be more beautiful, magazine covers constantly tell us how we must be thin or lose more weight. Just take a look at the cover of this month’s issue of “First for Women”. Thank you Dr. Oz for letting me know that I am ugly with my now bulging belly and jiggly hips and thighs.
So, this magazine and many others tell us what is wrong with us (sagging breasts, cellulite, wrinkles, etc.) then offer the magical secret to cure us! So, if you have any of these, be sure to talk badly about yourself as you look in the mirror. How does that feel? Awful!!! Please stop using the mirror to put yourself down. If you think badly about yourself, you will feel badly, which will likely lead to an unhealthy food/exercise relationship, ultimately stripping you of the full life you deserve and crave!
On a personal note the mirror has typically had its healthy place for me. A quick glance to wash my face, put my hair up and maybe throw on some eye makeup in my adult life. In those moments I find myself getting upset and falling into the trap of discouragement and disgust. Some days I am able to shrug it off and other days I have to work at redirecting my negative thinking, just the way I would coach my clients to respond. I must remind myself that who I am is not what my body looks like. One of my clients shared this video that is a good reminder to any mom.
Let’s stop being so harsh on ourselves and using the mirror as a weapon. If you struggle with any negative self-talk when looking in the mirror, I challenge you to instead be affirming. Check out these two great examples on ways to use your mirror to bring truth to your day! Just imagine how you might feel if you spoke these words instead of defeating words!!
This first mirror is compliments of a past patient who put her creative skills to work, leaving enough mirror space to meet her needs..
While meeting with Kit McFarland of Dragonfly Yoga Studio, I was pleasantly surprised to see how she encouraged her younger clientele to embrace who they are beyond the mirror. Check out the only mirror you will find in her studio!
Originally published on the Love Your Body blog at Fredericksburg Parent