Who are you when you think Jesus isn’t looking?

Today on my lunch break, I decided to make a quick stop into the local CVS for a few necessities (shaving cream and something to battle these terrible summer allergies!). I usually make at least one stop into the store each week because I get great customer service and the employees are always so friendly.

As I was standing in the checkout line, the man behind the counter begins to tell me how he sees me in the store quite often and asks if I work in the area. I tell him yes and we begin to chat about the city, community, church, local activities, etc. We discovered that we had an “acquaintance” in common, and the man goes on to praise this acquaintance as such a wonderful person that he held in high regard. I stood there shocked and almost speechless because my thoughts about the common acquaintance were…let’s just say, definitely less admirable. So what caused the stark difference in opinion? This man went to church with the common acquaintance, and I knew who the person was out in the world – beyond the church doors. I smiled and nodded, thanked the man for his help, and went on my way.

 

I left the store with a mix of emotions. How could our opinions be such complete polar opposites? Do people view ME that differently outside of God’s house? Am I truly the same person – with the same integrity, same values, same morals, same smile, same heartfelt concern for others, same positive attitude – that I am on Sunday? Would people who know me outside of God’s house say the same things about me as the ones that see me in church each week? I sure hope so. And if not, today is a great day to get my attitude in check and be intentional in living out the person that I strive to be EACH and EVERY day. I don’t want to be the person that puts on her “church face” on Sunday.

My prayer today is that each of us live out our Christian lives on a day-to-day basis so that others may see Jesus in us and through us. We are to be a witness to everyone – the sinners and the saints. Sometimes we forget that people are watching us. Who are you when no one is looking? I want to live out my days like God would have me to live them – for Him and for His glory. I want my friends to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I know Jesus. I want them to come to me when they need to be lifted up in prayer. I want strangers to know that I am authentically, genuinely concerned for them and their salvation just by my actions. I want my life to be a walking Bible for the world to see. I want to treat people as Jesus would treat them.

 

So who are you? Are you the person people know on Sunday? Who are you when you think Jesus isn’t looking?

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Exercise Will Get You Nowhere

Exercise will get you nowhere…without the proper nutrition. Sounds crazy, right? I mean, if you are spending an hour a day in the gym up to five days a week, or you run five miles every single day, you should be able to see at least some change without having to give up the fried food diet…don’t you think?

 

Not so much.

 

Various studies have shown that changing an individual’s training or exercise session without altering their diet plan at all did almost nothing to change their body composition. Also, there was less than a 2% fat loss overall total.

 

Think about how much it costs to hire a personal trainer. Even if you aren’t willing to fork out the money for a trainer, a gym membership can get pricey as well. If you aren’t utilizing the proper nutrition techniques to accompany your exercise routine, basically you are shelling out money AND time for something that will leave you disappointed, angry, frustrated, and mad at your trainer.

 

But it isn’t their fault at all.

Please don’t get me wrong. Exercise is still absolutely critical when it comes to feeling better, looking better, and performing to your best ability. It helps your energy levels so that you feel like going on trips with your spouse or so that you can keep up and play with your children. Exercise IS important.

 

My point is that exercise ALONE will get you nowhere. You need to implement not only a solid exercise routine, but also a sound nutritional program. Research has shown that participants that combined effective nutritional strategies with the same training plans mentioned above had almost a 10-fold increase in effectiveness than training with no nutritional program in place.

 

The results don’t lie. You cannot cheat the system. You cannot make shortcuts. NOTHING is as effective as solid nutrition and proper exercise.

 

One last note: If your trainer is not encouraging you to seek out nutritional advice, that is a problem. It is almost as if they are giving you a brand new car without the keys. You will continue to stay in the same place because you do not have all of the pieces to move forward.

 

Worth the Wait

I can’t believe it’s been a year. It seriously seems like just yesterday! Almost one year ago, on February 6, 2016, on a hiking trip by a waterfall in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Jordan asked me to be his wife. I honestly don’t remember everything he said that day because I was too busy smiling and nodding and happy-crying.

I had waited a long time for him. I had honestly reached a point in my life that I had given up on finding a husband. I had finally given everything over to God and told Him that I was content and at peace with it, but if He had other plans, then I would gladly follow. Only a few short weeks passed by, and then I met Jordan.

I had been on some terrible dates before I met him. I had also been on dates where everything “should” be right. You know, where the guy has a great job, nice house, goes to church, treats you well…but you just aren’t feeling it. I would get so discouraged when my family or friends would ask how my dates had gone because I never had good news. I felt like something was wrong with me. Eventually, though, I realized (after lots and lots of prayer), that you just can’t force those things. If a relationship doesn’t come from God and God is not in it, OF COURSE it won’t feel right. God is trying to tell you something when a date (or relationship!) doesn’t go as well as you hoped – He isn’t in it, and that man is not the one for you. I truly learned patience through this process. I learned to trust God and I learned to trust HIS timing.

I feel that so many young ladies settle. They settle for the one they “should” be with according to material matters. They never wait and find the one that was MEANT for them. The one that God made especially for them.

If you are still waiting on your meant-to-be, I encourage you to keep waiting. He’s out there. God has a plan for both of your lives, so the decisions you may make trying to force something that isn’t right will affect not only you, but the man God made for you. I’ll share with you the verse that I clung tightly to during my waiting period.

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4.

Cling to Jesus during this time. Wrap yourself with His love, stay in His Word, and surround yourself with His people. Your time will come soon enough. Right now, delight yourself in Him, and He will hold true to His promise to you. Your meant-to-be will come and you will KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is from the Lord. I did. And I am so glad I waited.

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How’s the Married Life?

“So how’s the married life?”

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I wish I could count the number of times I’ve been asked that question over the past two weeks. Each and every time, I smile and say “It’s wonderful! I couldn’t be happier!”

…but then, I am almost always met with the words “Enjoy it while it lasts.”

 

How discouraging, especially for a newlywed. I have waited twenty-eight years for this. I actually had to wait twenty-six years just to meet the man God made for me. Why put a damper on my excitement?

Better yet, why does it have to be this way? Why does the happiness have to end? Why do couples have to grow stagnant and forget why they fell in love with each other in the first place?

 

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.

 

Maybe – just maybe – it goes deeper than that. Maybe couples forget their first true love instead, Jesus. Once they forget to put Jesus in the center of their relationship, everything begins to fall flat. Now, I understand that Jordan and I will hit rough times. I understand that we will get angry with each other and disappoint one another. But I never, ever want to enter into the place of constant bickering and misery that I see so many couples in today. I want to continue to date him. I want to continue to love him more each day. Most importantly, I want to continue to grow together in Christ.

Dear friends, I encourage you that if you are in that stagnant stage, do not grow bitter and spread your unhappiness to others. I ask that you examine your heart and have a real discussion with your spouse to make things right. Marriage is meant to be a beautiful thing. It is a true gift from God, and a gift that I do not intend to take lightly. It may have taken twenty-eight years of patience, but from this point on, the smile I wore on my wedding day never has to leave again.

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“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” – Mark 10:9

Healthy Swaps for your Favorite Summer Foods

Happy Friday, friends! For today’s edition of  Friday Favorites, I would love to introduce you to some of my favorite summer foods!

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Growing up in the South, summer was always a special time of year. Swimming in my grandparents pool, eating lots of grilled hamburgers topped with tomatoes straight out of the garden followed by homemade ice cream, and catching lightening bugs in the late afternoon are some of my fondest memories. When I made the decision to get healthier and change my eating habits, I did not want to miss out on the fun times by not being able to eat all of the yummy summer dishes. Thankfully, there are healthy versions of all of the foods I grew up on, and they are still just as delicious!

To download your copy of my 5 Healthy Swaps for you Favorite Summer Foods e-book, just click the link below!

5 Summer Swaps

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Countdown to ‘King’dom

We are less than 60 days away from saying “I Do,” and the craziness is kicking in at full speed! Here are just a few of the exciting updates I have to share along our journey 🙂

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•I listed my house on Thursday, June 30 and an offer was made on it ONE week later. We accepted, and I signed the contract on Monday! Now it’s a mad dash to get my house packed up and everything moved before the closing date!

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•I had my first bridal shower on Sunday, which was hosted by my home church. We received so many wonderful gifts that we can’t wait to use in our new home! It was especially nice to catch up with friends and church family that I do not get to see often. We are blessed beyond measure!

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•Beachbody Summit is in less than TWO weeks, and I am thrilled to get to spend some time with two of my best friends in Music City! We will spend time strategizing for our upcoming VIP Membership group, eating some yummy food (Loveless Cafe, here we come!), and attending conferences on all things health and fitness! It will start Wednesday with PIYO certification with Chalene Johnson herself, and I could not be more excited!!!

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•We have started getting down to the nitty-gritty details concerning the ceremony and reception. We are looking forward to putting our music playlist for the DJ together this weekend. If you have any suggestions on wedding songs to include in the ceremony or favorite dance music for the reception, I’d love to hear them! 😉

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