Working Out for the Right Reasons

Working Out for the Right Reasons

When I was in elementary school I would work out all the time. I know that sounds super odd because no ten-year-old needs to work out but I just loved the feeling and loved pushing myself.

But then I got to middle school and started working out because I thought I needed it. I needed that extra strength and endurance to win the boys vs. girls daily freeze tag game during recess (Of course). Now I’m totally for wanting to improve yourself and meet the athletic goals you have, but sometimes I find myself working out for the wrong reasons.

I recently read a blog post that mentioned our bodies as a temple and not idols. This was super convicting to me because being healthy is good and encouraged but I never thought you could be idolizing fitness and idolizing yourself.

Now, I by no means have this “not idolizing yourself” thing down, but I am committed to working on it because I don’t want to worship anything except for Jesus Christ.

Working out is a wonderful thing but I just want to make sure we are all doing it for the right, God-glorifying, reasons.

IDENTIFY YOUR WHY//

Before you start working out, just take 5 minutes (maybe even less) to identify why you are working out. That could look like a time of reflection on how God has created you and thanking him for making you just the way you are and for giving you the ability to work out and improve yourself. Or this could be a time when you get refocused and remind yourself that you are awesome just the way you are. God made you beautifully and working out should be a way of worshiping the Lord instead of trying to fix problems you don’t like about yourself.

Give Yourself Grace//

I think another thing to keep in mind when working out is that you are perfect, I’m not perfect, nobody is perfect. The super fit people on Instagram, aren’t perfect either. So why beat yourself up about it?

We’ve all heard the popular saying,

“Comparison is the theief of joy”

It’s so true when dealing with fitness. So let’s just stop allowing it to enter into our lives. The comparison trap is a consciousious choice and every time to allow comparison to happen, we hand over our joy into Satan’s hands.

Find Ways to Worship//

I mentioned this in my last work out post but I want to elaborate on it a little more. I think working out is a gift and a perfect way to glorify God. I love incorporating prayer into my workouts. When I run, I love just looking around and mentally thanking the Lord for his beautiful creation and asking for endurance to run the race he has laid out before me and in my Christian life.

Also when I;m doing exercises and reps of drills, I love listening to Christian workout music. Spotify has a great playlist and I encourage you to make your own as well. These songs help keep my mind and heart focused on Christ and to work out for the glory of God and not myself.

These things may not be easy at first but I know that God will give us strength as we strive to glorify God through our workouts. So keep going and keep pushing yourself both spiritually and physically!

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

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Leadership Conference Reflection

Leadership Conference Reflection

I recently went to a leadership conference for the very first time. I have never been encouraged and inspired as much as I was those two days. I left with a notebook full of plans, one-liners, as well as a reignited heart for leadership.

I was able to hear from some of the most loving and impactful Christian leaders and want to share with you some of my personal highlights.

“Respect everyone always.” – Bill Hybels

Kinda sounds elementary but boy does it have a punch. Immediately when I heard this I thought… “Wait, everyone… and always?” Ohhh I don’t do that all the time.  Over the course of the whole conference, this statement had a lot of emphasis. I think the key to being a great leader in our world today is just in caring and loving the people we are leading. You don’t have to be the best speaker or a millionaire to lead. It’s all about love.

“When you’re offered a seat on a rocket, you don’t ask what seat, you just jump on.” – Sheryl Sanberg

I love this one because I think it applies to so many different areas of our lives. For example, When God is at work, I don’t need to be concerned with whether or not I have a big role or how this will affect me. I just need to hop in and enjoy the ride.

“Friends show up for friends… you don’t have to be someone’s best friend from the first grade to show up for them.”- Sheryl Sandberg

If I had to choose one takeaway from this conference, this would be it by far. I have always struggled with loving people like crazy (what God calls us to do) if I am not someone’s bestie. But that line made me realize that I am just making up excuses. I need to be there for people no matter what. Who cares if I only know their name… how do you become close to someone if you aren’t there for them?

I have so much more amazing takeaways that I’m sure will find their way into my future blog posts. But for those of you in a leadership position of any kind,

My challenge to you is to love and love like crazy. You lead out of brokenness and what would you lose from being open and letting people know that their brokenness is welcome?

I love you guys and I pray for you daily! Keep up the great work!

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

Coffee Date No.1

Coffee Date No.1

I am a huge fan of coffee dates. It combines two of my most favorite things… coffee and great conversation. I have been brainstorming the idea of capturing that feeling and somehow making it come through my blog posts… and I think I have finally got it.

So welcome… I want these “Coffee Date Posts” to invite you to brew your favorite cup of coffee (in your favorite mug of course) and just chat.

I’ll share my heart with you and I want to hear yours as well. I want us to get really honest and raw about life. That means talking about the messy, pretty, and everything in between.

So if you have something on your heart you need to talk about… I am always here for you. I know what it is like to have a community of believer’s supporting you. I would be happy to join your community if you ever need some encouragement.

Coffee Date No.1:

Life is going faster than I think it ever has before. I know that sounds really weird and dumb but it’s so true. I feel like I am growing up and actually doing like… adult things. It’s insane.

I love looking back on the stages of my life and seeing how much has changed and what has stayed the same. For instance,

When I was really young, my parents owned a gym and I was super into gymnastics and cheerleading… that has ended and all I can do now is a few flips and a pretty decent toe-touch.

Then I started dancing. And “obsessed” is an understatement for how much time I spent dancing. I think I got a little carried away with it. I spent all of my free time (as a 12-year-old) taking ballet classes or choreographing dances in my bed room. I LOVED to dance. Although I still find it super fun and a cool way to exercise, the love and obsession have worn off. I’m left with about 10 DVD recordings of my recitals, a whole bunch of worn out Pointe Shoes, and some amazing friendships.

But the crazy things about life is that each stage of my life was impactful. I wouldn’t go back and tell my 12-year-old self to spend less time dancing. Every hour spent dancing had something to do with who I am today.

There have only been a few things that have always, no matter what stage I am in, been consistent. The biggest one is… you guessed it,

Jesus Christ

Jesus has been playing the King role in my life since day one. I have never gone a day without being fully known and completely loved by him. He has never given me the mediocre … I have only received the very best from him.

On the days when I was sad and couldn’t find the strength to hold back my tears…. God was present.

On the days when everything was looking bright… God was present.

On the days when I failed… God was present.

And on the days to come when I forget all he has done for me… God will be present and will remind me of all he has done for his precious little girl.

I hope you are able to see how constant He has been in your life. He is always at work in you… even if it seems like a dull time. He is working on you, guaranteed.

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

 

 

Seeking Truth

Seeking Truth

I started getting really insecure. I had this desperate need to hear exactly what the Lord has to say about those areas in my life. It was the first time in my life when nothing else would fill my need. I couldn’t just play some good music and feel better, I couldn’t just go to bed and start fresh the next day… I needed the truth and only the truth.

Maybe it is just a girl thing, but one day I can feel so confident and the next I am just so insecure. I’ve struggled with this for awhile because I so desperately want to be extroverted but some days my introverted-ness just seems to take over. All my fears come back and I slip into this person who needs everyone’s approval.

So I decided to look into what God has to say about this. I found a verse in 2 Corinthians 3 that really spoke to me.

5 “It is not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.”

As I wrote before, I was feeling this lack of confidence, like I was inadequate of being the person I felt like I needed to be.

Then it was like this verse just come up out of the blue… really I don’t think I’ve ever seen this verse (maybe it’s a different version or God just hadn’t spoken to me through it before.) Either way, I needed this verse.

I love the first part. How it states that nothing is from us. Nothing competent comes from my humanity.

When I read that first line it took so much weight off my shoulders. It was a reminder that I can’t control everything. God didn’t give me the task of being adequate… that’s all up to Him.

Our confidence, adequacy, and abilities come from God, not ourselves. 

Once I realized that I had to face my confidence problem head on.

If one day I’m confident and the next I can’t find one ounce of self-esteem, then I have a problem in my spiritual walk.

If all of my confidence and adequacy is supposed to be from God then I need to trust that He has it all under control. I need to stop searching for confidence in how I look, how well I perform a task, and how I am handling situations.

Because when I mess up, when I totally and completely fail, the Lord wants me to be confident in the fact that none of those things make my adequate.

Every failure acts as a reminder that those things don’t make me adequate.

The Lord and the Lord alone grant me confidence.

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

Fully Known & Fully Loved

Fully Known & Fully Loved

“Fully known and fully loved. “

What a profound statement. I believe it’s so hard for me to accept that I am fully known and fully loved because I haven’t experienced that kind of love before.

I’ve experienced the earthly love from family, friends, and loved ones but that love isn’t what’s being talked about here. This fully known love is so much deeper.

When I attempt to grasp the meaning I start asking these questions, What does it mean to be fully known… and how can someone be fully known?

I remember when I was a little kid and first realized that God knew everything. I was astonished to hear that He was aware of my thoughts and everything I did. That realization was scary at first but then transitioned to a sense of comfort. I then knew that I would never be alone, I would always have someone by my side to talk to.

That’s what I think it means to be fully known. Because God created every single cell in our bodies and delights in us, He knows our hopes, dreams, and fears. He cheers us on as we work for those goals and takes a hold of our hands as we conquer our fears.

That also means He sees our sins and our slip ups. He sees when we give into temptation or pass by a hurting soul without saying a word.

But here is where the next part comes in… Fully loved.

Even with seeing all of our bad and all of our mess, He still loves us, more than anybody else. He has a sweet spot in His heart for you. he loves YOU so much He gave up His life for YOU.

That is what being fully known and fully loved looks like. Having a heavenly father who loves you in your darkness as well as in your light.

The crazy thing is that His love for you will never fade away. He is a, “no strings attached” love that isn’t going anywhere… no matter what.

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More wallpapers can be found here!

XOXO, The Christian Prpester

Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap

Summer is one of my most favorite times of the year. I love the ability to just rest and enjoy the nice weather without the stress of school. But there is something I find myself falling into a lot during these summer months… summer stress.

I love being busy and having things to do, so when I have free time, it doesn’t stay free very long. Which is great but I have to make sure I don’t run myself too hard and forget to enjoy this time I’m blessed with.

I wanted to share a few ways I’m able to keep my mental sanity when the summer fun starts taking a toll on me. Now I am not an expert at this by any means… I have my break downs and stressful days. But I’m learning how to recover better and bridge the gap between summer fun and stress less living. Because summer is a great time to pour into our Christ family as well as nonbelievers. We need to be on our A game in order to love others well, at least I do.

For me, that starts with a great night’s sleep. I know that seems odd and out of place but it’s so true. I can tell what kind of day I’m going to have if I didn’t sleep well (hint… it’s not a great one).  I need to be well rested in order to be upbeat.

Now this next part is crucial for overcoming summer stress… so focus in!

I’ve got to read my Bible first thing in the morning. I need to start overcoming my pride and selfish desires right when my feet hit the ground. It’s a daily fight and I don’t have anytime to waste. This is the time where my heart gets to rest, when my mind is able to stop and just delight in my sweet Jesus. I know I am held and loved by Him and those facts allow me to then love others.

Once I have those things covered, I jump back into the business, into the summer fun, and into the blessing of another day. For me, bridging the gap between summer fun and holy rest can be difficult when I’m not intentional with my time.

This past weekend my family went on a weekend trip to see my sister, and I totally failed at this “Bridging the Gap” thing. Here’s how it went down…

We arrived back at our house at 2:45 A.M. I was unable to sleep on the plane so I was exhausted… I threw my packed bag on the ground (managed to take my makeup off.. score!) and fell right into bed (notice there was no alarm setting… 😦 )

My amazing friend and I were going to meet to take pictures for my blog at 10:30, I had a meeting at 1:45 and then work that night. So I knew I needed a good nights rest for my busy day.

Then I awoke from my deep slumber… AT 10:25?!?! Looks like I forgot to set my alarm while  I was frantically getting ready for bed at 2:45 in the morning… ugh.

I rushed over to the shoot and my found my friend with a nice cold Startbucks drink for me. It’s as if she knew how rough of a morning I was having. God works in mighty ways friends… mighty mighty ways!

The rest of the day went a little better (besides getting gasoline all over my shoes… I’ll spare you the details, it was embarrassing.) But I can’t help but chuckle as I write this post because some days you just aren’t put together. But if you can get a little Jesus time and some sleep in, I can promise your day will be better.

It’s all about bridging the gap… being able to transfer from fun to work and vise versa without dropping all of the moving parts we need to function.

So from one mess to another, keep fighting and hang in there. Do the things tonight that you’ll be thankful for tomorrow.

I’m praying for you guys!

XOXO, The Christian Prepster

 

 

Loving Your Streets

This past week I went on a mission trip to Compton, California. It was one of the most growing experiences of my life and I am so thankful I was able to go.  I left with a new challenge, to love my city as much as the amazing people of Compton love theirs. I was awestruck by the love and care they have for each other and the well being of their area.

As I flew back to my town, I was seriously convicted. I was thinking,

“I thought I was loving and caring for my city, but man does it look like hate compared to what people in Compton are doing.”

It was a huge wake up call for me. Now I am on a mission to love my streets. To reach out to the people and start taking responsibility for where I live.

Now, I also learned that this may not be easy, and I can certainly, not do this all alone. So if you have this same conviction as I do, then we need to start doing stuff.

There are SO many great, service-minded, opportunities you can get involved in. I suggest you talk to your local church to see what ministries they are already doing in your town.

While I was in Compton, we were able to stay with a pastor who recently started a Screen Printing Company called Compton Proud. (Their shirts are seriously the cutest things ever. If you’ve ever been to Compton or just want to encourage and promote Compton and this business, I suggest you take a look at their website.) He and his family, are dedicated to producing products that promote this mindset of being proud of where you live.


How awesome is that?

Now ask yourself these questions,

  • Are you proud of where you live?
  • If not, what would it take to change that? If yes, what are you proud of?
  • How can you become more involved?
  • What are some needs you see?
  • Can you meet those needs?

My friends at Eventbrite have all the tools you may need to start loving your streets. I encourage you to take a look at some of their events as well as brainstorm some of your own service dreams.

I pray that we can all start loving our streets more. That could mean volunteering our time or just dedicating prayers to our city. Every bit helps.

 

If you are interest in reading more about my mission trip experience, below is a Facebook update I wrote in the middle of my trip to Compton.

 

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View of L.A. from the Griffith Observatory

I haven’t fully adjusted to the L.A. time change yet so I’ve found myself running out of sleep at 6:00 AM every single morning this week. The first few days I was saying to myself, “Come on… just sleep you fool.” But today something else happened.

I was still bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6:00 AM but I woke up with a new sensation… a sensation to just admire God.

I went outside of the Treehouse (the name of the beautiful house we are staying in on Compton) and sat on the wooded swing attached to a massive tree. I sat there for about 5 minutes not knowing exactly what to pray for or what to read about. Then I cracked open my Bible and started reading Ruth.

I’m pretty familiar with the story of Ruth but in that moment, the Lord revealed himself to me in a way I haven’t experienced before.

All of Ruth is a glimpse into the life of a girl who optimizes the definition of faithfulness.

Her husband, brother in law, and father in law all have passed away. Ruth and the women in her family are left alone to provide and take care of themselves. The first chapter conveys how hard the mourning process can be and how we sometimes feel as though God has (in the words of Naomi) “dealt very bitterly with me”.

I feel like I can relate to that feeling. And truthfully, I felt that way this week. I was not feeling connected to my team and like I had nothing left in me to give.

At this point it was about 6:20 (I’m still one of two people up) and was really feeling Ruth’s story deep in my heart.

Then we get to chapter two. (V.1) “Now Naomi had a kinsman…” This is the part of Ruth when things start to look up. When Boaz is introduced and the story starts to get good.

Here I got a different glimpse. Ruth wanted to be married and start over, but she also wanted to remain faithful to her mother in law and love her through this hard time.

Ruth was strong. She was able to stay faithful when her heart wanted to pick up and go live the glamorous life so many women her age were living.

Then it clicked. Mission work is not glamorous. Mission work takes faithfulness even when the storms rain out every ounce of sunshine left in you. Mission work is like Ruth’s story. Well at least it is for me on this trip.

I have a deep desire to love these people and to love Compton. But sometimes the desires of our selfish hearts want to be back home hitting the snooze button until our hearts are content.

But then God helps us stay faithful. God gives us the strength to serve Him joyfully and from a willing heart.

Those few minutes of quietness this morning have changed my view of mission work. Looks like I’ll still be up 6:00, sitting on that swing, trying to get to know my king a little better.

 

Attached is some audio of the amazing worship we had on our mission trip.

XOXO, The Christian Prepster