We throw off the lie of perfection and cling to our identity in God as we strive to be whole, healthy, and fit. Our goal is wholeness, not perfection.

8th day

…my blogger friends gave to me: The permission to Recharge

Yes, I know that the 12th day of Christmas as January 6th.  But this year I have committed to finishing what I start.  Even if it isn’t the finish product I had in mind when I started.  I began writing this entry over a week ago.  But I realize now that the entry I started could easily be a blog series, so instead of trying to fit all of those words and emotions into a single blog entry I am choosing to start anew.

As women – regardless of our marital status, career choice, and maternal status – we busy ourselves and fill our days with meeting the needs of other people.  Real or imagined.  (The needs, not the people.  Who’s got time to meet the needs of imaginary people?)   We get so busy tending to husbands, bosses, co-workers, children, friends – not to mention the tasks on our to do lists – that we tend to put our needs last.  And we don’t realize how overwhelmed we are until our patience is running low and we’re struggling to find kind words or a gentle tone.

So, in 2015 I propose that we start setting aside time to recharge, to refuel.  Nothing crazy, maybe once a quarter.  Find a one day women’s conference in town.  Or a weekend retreat a few hours away.  I totally recommend the latter.  There’s something heavenly about waking up to quiet, knowing that all your meals will be made by someone else and you don’t have to clean up the dishes.  Did you just breathe a sigh of relief when you read that?  I did.  And then when you return home you are pleasantly surprised at just how ecstatic you are to be welcomed by a messy and loud house.

A search of “one day women’s conferences” on Google returned 254,000,000 results in 0.29 seconds.  “Women’s weekend retreat” only had 31,000,000 results in 0.26 seconds, but that’s still plenty of options.  Don’t want anything as formal as a conference or a retreat?  Then make a standing date with some friends for a mom’s night out or join a small group.  Just make sure that whatever is meant to refuel you doesn’t add to the stress that you’re seeking to alleviate.

Do you have a refueling plan for 2015?  If so, what is it?  If not, is there anything you did to refuel in 2014 that you’d like to do again in 2015?

Do Over Book

This is Day 3 of the Do Over 10 Day Challenge.  My challenge is to write here for 10 minutes each day for 10 days.  But my real challenge within this challenge is to write without over-thinking it.  To let the words flow without editing as I type.  Yesterday I remembered a God friend of mine telling me about this woman who will post a writing prompt, inviting others to join her in free writing for five minutes.  When the five minutes are up you type STOP and do exactly that.

Deep breath…whew.  I’ll admit I’m a tad bit nervous about this.  What if my words come out all wrong?  You know, they sound really good in my head but don’t quite make it to the screen the way I had envisioned.

Oh well.  I can just do it over next week, and the week after that, until the fear subsides or I do it in spite of the fear.  Either way, here we go…


Five-Minute-Friday-4

If you’re new to the Five Minute Friday phenomenon like I am, here’s how it works:

Every Thursday a one-word prompt will be announced on the Five Minute Fridays blog at 10pm EST (and the blogging continues through Friday).

Before the prompt is revealed many in the Five Minute Friday community like to connect on Thursday evenings on Twitter using the #fmfparty hashtag.  I missed out on yesterday’s gathering, but look forward to chatting with the ladies next week.

Everyone who participates in Five Minute Friday will write for five minutes on the topic of the week, post it on their own blog and link up that post on the Five Minute Fridays blog using the InLinkz button at the bottom of the prompt post.

If you want to get in on the fun but don’t have a blog, you’re welcome to post your five minutes of writing in the comments here each week, the comments section of the FMF blog, or on the Five Minute Friday Facebook page.

This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking (my inner editor is cringing), no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.

Just write.

WELCOME

 Today’s 5 minute Friday prompt is WELCOME: GO

Whether you come in the front door, the backdoor, or through the garage, you’ll be greeted by the sound of a seven year old playing with his twin baby brothers.  You’ll find me trying to tidy up, more for my sanity than to impress you.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to dazzle you with my multitasking abilities, but I’m fresh out.

But I have clean glasses and four different types of milk if you’re thirsty.  The kitchen table offers a beautiful view of what we jokingly call the park in our backyard  And once you tire of the wooden chairs, you are welcome to get comfortable in the living room.  But you may want to reconsider sitting on the couches if you have anything important to do today.  They are sirens.  No, really, you won’t want to get up.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Although the twins have more toys than any ten month olds should have, you will most certainly be their favorite diversion.  Once they have thoroughly inspected you and you’ve passed their “stranger danger” screening, of course.

So this is my home.  This is my life.  You are welcome to come over any time.  No, really, I’d love the grown up company.  Because trying to take the Floyd Boys out and about is a little too much work.  So if you don’t mind the noise that only a seven year old boy and his twin brothers can create, come on over.  STOP.

Do Over Book

Putting 10 minutes on the timer, and here we go…

Funny thing happened yesterday after I posted that I have a difficult time keeping up with my blog because I over think when I write.  God told me to start a new blog.  And I said, “Cool.  I’ll post a new blog entry tomorrow.  It’s time for bed.”  And He said, “No.  A new blog.  Not a new post.”  I couldn’t help but bust out laughing.  “Dude, you’re kidding right?  I just told the whole Interweb that I’m struggling to keep up with my blog.  Why would I start a new one?”  Silence.  Not that comfortable silence two friends share as they both recover from laughing hysterically.  Awkward silence.

I started to throw a grown up tantrum and provide really good reasons as to why I shouldn’t start up another blog.  “Faith Fitness and Mommy Stuff,” was His reply.  “Ooh…I like it.”  Oh how I feel so silly stupid when I get amazed at how well God knows me.  He had me at the name.  I started to ask all sorts of questions about Catalyst Movement and how Faith Fitness and Mommy Stuff will impact it.  Then I remembered how tired I was and realized I didn’t have the energy to wrestle with God over blogging.  Besides, as a dear friend told me years ago “You can choose to oblige and follow or you can go with skinned knees because you tried to do it your way.  Either way you’re gonna do it God’s way.”

I registered http://www.faithfitmommystuff.com today.

Do Over Book

I’m 4 days into a 10 day challenge Jon Acuff is leading and I only followed through on Day 1.  My Do Over goal?  Write for 10 minutes each day.  But the problem is I over think everything I write.  At least on here.  Nope, take that back.  Everything means everywhere.  I tend to edit as I type rather than just letting the words come and then worry about sentence structure and all that jazz.  Thank you very much liberal arts education at a writing intense school.  Shout out to all my Randy-Mac girls out there who can never “just write” again.

But maybe my first mistake was committing to posting a blog entry every day for 10 days.  The challenge is to work on something you’d like to do over (complete or improve from a previous attempt) for 10 minutes every day for 10 days.  I can’t  haven’t been able to get a post out in 10 minutes yet.  Nope.  I’m too busy editing as I write and then thinking about which pictures I can insert or what graphic I can make on my phone.

Not this time.  Not for the next 10 days.  Nope, I’m just going to write for 10 minutes.  Whatever God puts on my heart and then I’m going to hit the publish button.  Well, I’ll go back and edit for typos and such.  To do otherwise would be sheer madness.  Or is it shear?

So here I go, starting the Do Over Challenge, for the second time.  Why did I start over the first time?  That’s another blog.  Ooh, I can spend ten minutes on that tomorrow.

7th day

…my blogger friends gave to me: The permission to Breathe

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by life?  Whatever your work/family situation is, do you ever feel like you’re juggling too many activities/responsibilities/roles?  And let’s face it, although technology can simplify our lives, it usually reminds us via social media that we can be doing so much more, or at the very least do what we’re already doing with a lot more style.

So today, we give you permission to just breathe.  What’s that you say?  You don’t have the time to stop and breathe?  Or your living space is so cluttered that you can’t find a place to sit down long enough to enjoy breathing?  Well, here are some resources that may help you find the time and physical space to do just that.

Corie Clark’s “The Simplicity Project” is aptly named.  Her approach to simplifying our over-complicated lives is exactly that – simple.  She doesn’t try to push a multi-step program .  Nor does she just focus on the physical decluttering that our lives need.  She addresses the need to tend to our spiritual health, physical health, physical spaces, finances, and time management.  Her approach to simplifying is not only doable, but grace infused, which makes it more likely for recovering perfectionists to complete the project.

Simplicity Project

While “The Simplicity Project” touches on learning how to say yes and no wisely, Lysa TerKeurst’s “The Best Yes” really gets to the heart of the matter – people pleasing.  Too many “Oh, snap!” moments in the book to get into here.  If you can relate to any of the quotes from the front of her book {I dread saying yes but feel powerless to say no.  I hope there’s more to life than my to-do list.  I’m a little overwhelmed and a lot worn out.  I’m drowning int he regrets of too many commitments.}, grab a copy.

Best Yes

This last book, “Finding Spiritual Whitespace” by Bonnie Gray, comes highly recommended from a God friend.  Since it’s on the “Read in 2015” list, you can read her write-up of it here.

Whitespace

6th day

…my blogger friends gave to me: The permission to Finish

I had a plan.  A plan to post for twelve consecutive days to encourage others to start fresh in 2015.  God had a different plan.  Twin B got sick and keeping up with posting took a back seat to being a mom.  As Twin B was on the mend I picked up posting again, albeit a couple of days behind on the “12 Days of Christmas” theme.  So I planned to do two days per day for a couple of days to catch up.  But again, God had a different plan.  Twin A caught whatever his brother had.  Good to see they can share sometimes.

So here I am, on the night of the 9th Day of Christmas, posting Day 6.

In the past, I would be berating myself about only being three days into the new year and already deviating from my plans.  But not this year.  My One Word for 2015 is FINISH.  Although the word doesn’t overtly imply grace, it is a grace filled word.  Until very recently I allowed the lie of perfection to dictate what I would or would not accomplish.  Let’s be honest, it was usually the latter.  If I couldn’t do it exactly the way I envisioned it, or how I thought others expected it to be, I didn’t do it at all.  Or I would start it, see that it wasn’t going to be perfect, then stop.

FINISH gives me the permission to give myself the grace to do just that, finish what I’ve started.  Regardless of the outcome.  So, I intend to finish the “12 Days of Christmas” posts, even if it takes me 30 days to do it.  I also plan on finishing a ridiculously long list of books that I started but put down.

What is one thing you need to give yourself the grace to finish?

5th day

…my blogger friends gave to me: The permission to Eat

There are countless voices vying for our attention, saying “eat this, not that” and their advice is constantly changing.  Instead of adding to the noise, we’ll keep it sweet and simple: Eat more God food than man food.  That is all.  You’re welcome.

keep it simple

No, really.  Don’t get caught up in all the hype – the rules and regulations regarding nutrition.  Eat when you’re hungry.  Stop before you get too full.  Eat food for fuel, not as a reward or punishment.  Enjoy the food you eat.  Eat slowly enough so you can taste what you’re eating. Eat more fresh food than processed food.  Listen to your body and eat food that brings you health and life, not the stuff that steals it.

What is one change you want to make to your diet in the new year?  I want to eat out less and prepare more meals at home.

4th day

…my blogger friends gave to me: The permission to Move

That sounded weird when you read that, didn’t it?  Permission to move?  Aren’t we usually being told that we have to move? Especially this time of year.  Take a leisurely scroll through your Instagram or Facebook feed and you’ll likely be bombarded by images telling you to “work off” your Christmas indulgences.  How many times this holiday season did you eat something and think “That was x number of calories, so I need to do y number of laps/miles/burpees to burn it off”?

But the truth is that movement is a gift.  We get to move, we don’t have to.  Just ask anyone whose ability to move has been limited or restricted.  Unfortunately, movement can seem like a chore when we lose sight of the fact that it’s a gift.  Too often we approach exercise as a means to an end instead of simply enjoying the act of moving.

Why? I don’ know about you, but over the years I have succumbed to the pressure of the ever changing idea of “fit”.  At some point I went from liking exercise to needing to exercise.  I always had more pounds or inches to lose.  Bondage.  That’s what that is.  God sent Christ to free us for freedom, not to get caught up in bondage again. {Galatians 5:1}

So, if one of your goals for the new year is to move more, that’s great.  Just remember to move in a way that is enjoyable.  A way hat doesn’t lead back to bondage, but celebrates the gift of movement.  Here are two programs that focus on wholeness, not just fitness:

revelation_motto

Revelation Wellness

2014-WHAT-IS-REFIT

REFIT Revolution

Are you currently moving on a regular basis?  If so, what do you like to do to celebrate your ability to move?

3rd Day

…my blogger friends gave to me: The permission to Rest

No book or blog recommendations or photos needed for this one.  Rest looks and feels different for each person.  Over the years, rest has looked very different for me.  Walking while jamming out to music.  Shop therapy at Loose Lucy’s (feels like a lifetime ago now).  Reading magazines while drinking hot tea at Barnes and Noble.  Napping when my oldest son used to nap in the house (now it’s only the car).  Morning quiet time in the kitchen spending time in God’s word and watching the sun rise.  Vegging out on the couch watching back to back episodes of my favorite television series.  I am currently back to napping when the twins do.

You know what rest looks for you right now in this current season.  So do it.  For your own well being, and the well being of those you love, take time out of your crazy busy schedule and rest.  Pencil it in if you have to.

I don’t think you need convincing that resting is good for you.  But, like me, you may not always believe it’s a worthwhile endeavor.  The world around us is vying for our attention, lying to us “If you just get this one more thing accomplished…” – you fill in the promise.  The biggest lie I fall for is “…you’ll be all caught up”.  As a teacher, a mother, and a wife I’ve come to suspect that there’s no such thing as “all caught up”.  There’s always more to do.  Even the hamster on the wheel takes a break from time to time, right?  So, as 2014 winds down, and before we gear up for 2015, let’s give each other permission to rest.

Full disclosure: The 3rd Day of Christmas was yesterday. I took a two hour nap and went to bed at a decent hour rather than stress over hitting the publish button on time.

2nd Day of Christmas

…my blogger friends gave to me: The permission to Dream

Dreams can be scary.  God dreams tend to be scary, but scary good.  You know He’s got something big in store for you.  Like Ephesians 3:20 big and you’re scared that it’ll shake up your life a bit too much.

Dream BIG

If the fear of stepping out of your comfort zone has you frozen in your tracks, check out Jon Acuff’s Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, Do Work that Matters.  That’s by far the best title of a book.  Ever.  Start not only dares you to dream, but gives you the courage to make your dreams come true.  Acuff also provides homework in the appendix to put some action behind that newly found courage.

Start Book

I’m not sure if Lara Casey has read any of Jon Acuff’s books or attended any of his speaking engagements, but her PowerSheets seamlessly pick up where Start‘s homework leaves off.  The sheets walk you through introspective prep work (daring you to once again punch fear in the face) and then setting goals to tackle every day, week, and month.  Midway (after the third month) through the sheets you’ll go through a “refresh” process (similar to the initial prep work) to assess your progress and adjust your goals as needed.  In her 2015 PowerSheets video, Lara Casey stresses that the sheets are “about progress, not perfection” which is something we strongly encourage at Catalyst Movement.

POWERSHEETS

She also mentions how sharing our goals – via social media, with trusted friends, in the FB PowerSheets group, and small groups (online #2015GoalSetting or in person) – fosters accountability and can provide a source of encouragement. Which is exactly what the inneractive™ Fit Club F.O.C.U.S. leadership series does.  It’s not about making more or even doing more. It is an opportunity to tap into your God given abilities – gifts and talents – and use them to be more.  Be more what exactly? That depends on you and what God’s called you to do. Everyone of us has a passion that God has knitted into the very fabric of who we are.

Maybe you want to monetize whatever it is you’re passionate about. Perhaps you simply want to explore it and see how God can use your story to bless others. Or maybe you have so many ideas about your goals that you don’t know where to start. This mentoring program will help you with all of that and more.  Click the image below for more details.

FOCUS

So, as you reflect on 2014 and dream about what’s to come in 2015, do your dreams scare you?

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