I am a big believer that leaders are readers. I believe that if you are looking to grow in any area, reading and studying are the way to go.
Growing up, I always considered myself an independent learner. I fared much better doing research projects than group projects or sitting in a classroom because more often than not, it was on subjects that I was not interested in.
I still have not used chemistry. Well, except for baking because exact measurements matter, but other than that….nope!
But I will spare you my thoughts on education and we will get to the part I am most passionate about: Feeding your mind.
I shared on Facebook my current favorite books that I think y’all should grab and dive into. Most of these are personal development/nutrition/leadership/ministry related. If that is not your thing, no worries, I will try to update this week even more books that I have read and love.
Podcasts are incredible resources too. That will get updated on my blog as well.
Some included links for the books mentioned in the video:
One of the most treasured gifts I have received from a friend was this prayer journal.
When I first became a Christian, I would journal every thought, prayer, hope, conflict, and dream on fresh pages of notebook paper, or wherever I could find a blank space. I doodled and dreamed as I poured my heart out to the One I was so in love with.
By the time I met Dan, my husband, I had already filled several journals with my thoughts and prayers. A few years ago, I had the chance to revisit them and my eyes nearly rolled out of my head as I read each page. Some of my “needs” were very self centered and centered on relationships with boys. I am embarrassed to admit that, but hey, it is the truth! Ha! (I bet some of you gals can relate. If not, you are fortunate!)
I had shared with you about our family prayer board that we got a few weeks ago, but this little journal pictured above is my favorite. It is all mine. After I spend time in His word, I get to writing. I get to praying. I pray for my husband. I pray for my kids. I pray for the needs of my friends. And it all goes down on paper, along with the iced coffee stains.
After reading Psalm 136 one morning, I quickly got to work on writing my own Psalm of praise. Have you ever done that? Have you ever just taken a moment to write out exactly what God has done for you in your life? Yes, we reflect on Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection, but share more. Write out how He:
*Provided for your family in your time of need.
*When a family member came to know Jesus after years of praying.
*A loved one healed of disease or overcoming addiction or pain.
*A marriage being restored.
*Children who were prodigals returning home.
Shouting to the world what the Lord has done for you….our stories are all different. Yet God has met each and every one of us where we are and shown His mercy and grace and incredible power.
Can I challenge you, next time you pray, to recount ALL that He has done for you. We see it over and over again in the Psalms the recalling of God and His might and power and what He had done for the children of Israel.
Finally, I am able to sit down and type out my greatest takeaways from the New Leader Conference that I had the privilege of being invited to attend this past weekend.
If you don’t know what the New Leader Conference (referred from here on out as the NLC), it is an annual conference that Beachbody holds for those who achieve Two Star Diamond and above in their business and they are invited to attend after meeting qualifications. It is a once in a lifetime invitation for us coaches, so I can’t attend next year as a Leader to this event. This was my one time!
I arrived to the JW Marriott Hotel at LA Live in Los Angeles, California and immediately I was able to attend the pre conference party and grab a quick photo with Carl Diakeler, Beachbody’s CEO. He is an amazing human being. I was able to chat with many of the staff members that work at Beachbody and they culture he has created with this company is unparalleled to any other company out there. If you are a staff member at Beachbody, you cannot be a Coach, and many of them said that if they quit their job tomorrow, they would immediately want to sign up as a coach because they have absolutely fallen in love with the vision Carl has created with Team Beachbody and the Coach family. That says a lot to me about the company I am partnered with. They want to be a part of what we are doing in helping people live healthier lives. It is not about pitching products. It is about the revolution to help people.
The next morning, we got to tour the Beachbody HQ’s in Santa Monica. What an amazing company. I went live on my FB page as I toured the facility and it made me so excited. They had a Shakeology Bar and their very own Shakista (like a barista!), a HUGE gym with a multiple TV’s so employees could workout via Beachbody on Demand. They had two large kitchens stocked with Shakeology, Shakeology Boosts, performance formulas, and healthy fruits and veggies for snacking during their work day.
It was a pretty amazing day and it felt like the tour went by really fast. There was so much to see and I was just in awe of the offices. I have worked in offices before and they are nothing like Beachbody! I would so work there!
Later that day, we had our opening sessions and trainings with top coaches in the network. More on my takeaways from those sessions in just a little bit.
That night, we had a cocktail party and we got to take pictures with Joel and Jericho, who co-created the Core De Force fitness program (which is what I will be doing next after I complete 22 Minute Hard Corps). I also had a chance to connect with some other coaches and learn what they were doing in their businesses and how they helped their coaches be better. I loved hearing everyone’s story because honestly, every coach had a different struggle or a difference resource that pushed them to get to where they are. There is truly no one size fits all coach. I failed to mention that there were only about 250 coaches that qualified to attend this conference so everyone was super friendly and willing to share their knowledge with you. It made stepping out of your comfort zone (especially if you are an introvert like me!) a little bit easier.
The next morning, we got our butts handed to us by Joel and Jericho!!!!!
Core de Force is no joke and it was such an amazing workout. I was so sore the next day when I had to head home. My arms, abs, and lower body were definitely feeling the after affects!
It was amazing. And I heard through the grapevine that they will be registering soon for those who want to get certified to teach Core De Force Live at our annual Coach conference this year. What do you think friends? Should I do it? I got certified to teach Cize, so maybe I should add one more! It is an awesome workout!
We had breakfast and Shakeology (of course! Healthiest meal of the day!), then I cleaned up real fast and headed to our next sessions with the top coaches in the network. We also got to hear from Darin Olien, the co-creator of Shakeology, and he really broke down bit by bit why he fought so hard to create a product like Shakeology and why the ingredients in Shakeology are the best the WORLD has to offer and from the best, most nutrient dense soils. He travels around the world to do his research. Hearing him share and hearing his passion come through about nutrition. It is not just about getting people to buy a shake. Their very health and lives are involved! We want them healthy!
At then end of the conference, we were asked to share one word that would perfectly describe why we were proud to be a part of Team Beachbody. Each person had so many different words that they chose, and each word had a story that was attached to it.
My word? Persevere.
I will share more on my word really soon, but what I see in the coaches is that no matter what, we persevere. Helping people choose health and fitness is not easy. It is not as easy as buying new clothes that they can instantly put on and feel cute in. Or skin care. It is not instantaneous. We aren’t in the business of microwave results. it takes a lot of hard work and sometimes, the results are months in the making. But we push through the no’s, we push past the doubts and even the criticism from those who don’t believe in what we are doing, because ultimately we know that there are those out there who need encouragement, support and hope in their struggle.
They need the push to fight for their own life, and we as Coaches get to do that. We get to help them fight.
We get to see them LIVE again.
My heart is so full after this incredible weekend. I am excited for my new coaches who will be joining my upcoming New Coach bootcamp (still time to join us!). I am still trying to process it all and sharing it with my team. I have encouraged them to put the NLC on their goal board for next year.
It is a must attend event!
Thank you Beachbody for allowing me the opportunity to attend. It was so incredible. Words fail me. What Carl and the rest of the team have created for us coaches is superb and it is an honor to be a part of it.
Every Sunday, after church and lunch, I take a nap.
I believe and value rest so much that I make sure I do it. My husband laughs at me, but he knows that I need it.
I am an introvert. I can be around people and I generally enjoy talking with others and engaging with them. But when I have hit my max of interaction, I shut down. I go to my happy place of solitude. I rest my body.
I work so hard each week. I work from home on my business and helping women get healthy.
I run my house too, menu plan, plan out the kids after school activities and where everyone needs to be. I pay bills, clean up, do laundry, and cook meals.
I snuggle with hubby and kids and we have fun. I kiss boo-boos and give encouraging words. I work out six days a week to keep my body strong. I nourish myself and my family to keep the germs at bay and hopefully we live a little longer.
So I rest. God says it is good too.
For God did it after He created the earth. He did it and looked over his creation and said it was good. He appreciated the hard work. Don’t confuse God with resting as if He took a nap.
No, he rested to look over his hard work with approval. It was good. He enjoyed it.
The same can be said for me and for you, mama. Being human, we have moments where our bodies must stop for a moment. Maybe you have more energy than I do, so a nap doesn’t appeal to you. But rest and slowing down should. We don’t have to be busy 24/7 to have purpose. I think being busy all the time will sometimes lead us to be distracted by all the wrong things.
I am a go getter. I love to accomplish things. I love to check stuff off my to-do list. The competitor in me likes to win.
But in order to get what I need to done, and to be present, and to focus on what really matters, I need to be able to rest to appreciate all the hard work, to be grateful in it. To enjoy it.
And then, when my body has rested, I rise again, knowing it is time to keep going and keep doing the good work of raising a family and living a life that reflects Jesus.
Sister Friend, take a moment to rest. Do something you enjoy.
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Woody Allen
I have. And for years it made it difficult to plan, Dream, desire, because I was so sure God would laugh at me. And then he would change things just to make me miserable.
But when did that become scripture and truth for us? That quote is from an actor/director, taken from a Yiddish proverb.
But the Bible says this:
“The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. ” Proverbs 16:1 ESV
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be establish.” Proverbs 16:3
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
I don’t see in those passages alone where our planning equals God laughing at us.
It shows His care and directing us as we walk it out with Him and He directs our plans and steps to be in accordance with Him.
I don’t believe that your dreams and desires are things that He desires to ridicule you about. Who created that beating heart inside of you, anyway? Who created you to be a visionary, a leader, to be creative, skilled with your hands.
In other words, He didn’t create you to be a robot.
He created you in the likeness of Him.
Now, we can’t solely trust in our plans or dreams. Sometimes, He will call us to set them aside for something greater and better or different. We can’t always see what it is or what it may look like, but that is okay.
Walk it out with Him.
“Seek first the kingdom of Heaven, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
This doesn’t mean we will get our way, but that God will shape our desires and plans to shape His heart if we seek Him first.
Take heart, friend. God is not up there in heaven looking to make you miserable. He is also not a genie who just gives us whatever we throw a tantrum for. He is a loving Father who desires to give us good gifts, like any earthly father for their child.
So don’t be afraid to dream and make plans. Submit them to the Lord, establish them to Him, and let Him direct. I promise, if you are willing, He will mold and shape and direct to reflect His will.
Grateful to be able to get up early in the morning and cook a wholesome and delicious side to serve to my family. Green Bean Casserole is my favorite, y’all. (Would love to hear your favorite side or dish!)
I got to wake up and move this body. To use up the excess energy I may have so that way, I can just truly be present the rest of the day and love on my humans.
Thankful for a little boy who sneaks into our bed each morning just for a snuggle. I know those days will end soon. I long for them, even if they are super early each day.
Thankful for a daughter who is sensitive and compassionate and wants to spend time with us. Praying those days never end. That even when she is a teenager and a young woman, she will still want to be around us.
Thankful for a husband who is healthy and loves me and works hard for us. Thankful that he desires to provide and for his generosity and care. Thankful that he has a new hobby and friends he can truly spend time with and encouraged as he leads his family.
Thankful for a business I can work at from home and help my family.
Thankful for my Be a Size You community that helps me keep my mind and body strong and focused on the right things.
Thankful for friends. Thankful for life. Thankful for His word.
But don’t be. Not by the message I want to share with you. I say it from a place of love and from a place of excuses.
A place that I was in several years ago.
Back in 2010-2011, I was at my lowest point physically and emotionally. My youngest child was over a year. I still looked pregnant. I was tired 90% of the time. My household lived off of junk food because I literally had no energy to cook or really do anything else. I was suffering. My family suffered because of my lack of self care. I decided no more.
I won’t tell you that one month into my new lifestyle of working out and eating right changed everything. I didn’t drop weight just like that. It took me 9 months to lose the baby weight and then some. I won’t tell you that I never experienced set backs or moments of failure. I ate poorly sometimes, but I paid for it as well. I experienced the consequences of my choices.
And that is the message. Every decision you make results in a consequence. Either a positive or a negative. We live in a time where people don’t like to be told that something is bad or may be harmful. We call that shaming. We are a society that is afraid of constructive criticism.
But, it would be unloving of me, in the work that I do, to not give you the truth.
I realize you could do all the easier things and be happier. I realize that you may be able achieve some success with supplements and other tricks that the diet industry provides. But what I am here to tell you is that those supplements? Those tricks? They are just that. Supplemental. They cannot and will not take the place of the work. Period.
We can sugar coat and make it sound like I am shaming or putting down people, but hear me when I say I am not shaming people with their excuses.
I am showing them that they are MORE than their excuses. That you can push yourself to do the things that others are not willing to do. One month won’t change a whole lot. Two months. Three months maybe. But for most of us?
The people that bust their butt in the gym or run marathons don’t take the easy route. They train. They discipline. They plan. They know that in time, they will see the results for their hard work. Time, consistency, and patience is the key.
It takes several months before we see the efforts of our hard work bear fruit.
When someone sells you on the idea of easy because they say they are into shaming, that is a sales pitch. When they tell you to “just do what you want.” That isn’t love.
I don’t tell my kids to just do whatever they want. I train them to understand that some things are not beneficial to them. That some things require the discipline of saying NO. It would be unloving of me to just let them eat whatever they wanted because that meant I didn’t care about their growing bodies. I made that mistake before. I won’t make it again.
Nothing worth having is easy.
I know that choosing to exercise and eat right sounds super hard. I have been there. I made a lot of excuses. If you are a mama of little ones, I totally get it. The days start super early and it seems you never get to put up your feet. But you matter, Mama.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to look like anyone else.
Just choose to move. Place those babes in a stroller and go for a walk or a run. Let your heart build endurance and your lungs feel the burn as they expand and bring in more oxygen to your body for optimal function. So that you feel good. You might feel a little tired. But it is good. You did good work, mama.
Don’t be afraid of healthy meals. Start small. Start quick. Start easy. Make fun and yummy breakfast smoothies that the whole family can enjoy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Allow them to be a part of the journey. This is for life. This is for you. This is for them.
The biggest part of this lifestyle is your mindset. We have been fooled to believe that the quick fixes are what help us. But honestly, in order to have some success and see results, there will be trial and error and some pain. Don’t be afraid of it. I am a constant work in progress. I don’t have everything figured out. But I do know with everything in my heart and soul, that a good workout, and healthy and filling meal, His word, and choosing joy does more good than any special pill you can buy off the market. I will take that to the bank.
So be encouraged sister. I know that words like mine are sold to you as words meant to shame. I promise. It isn’t. I believe you are MORE than the excuses you tell yourself. You are more than what the scale says. You are more than what a product can offer you.
You are a woman of great value and you are loved. If I am selling anything, that is what I will sell you.
My precious 10 year old daughter ran for 5th Grade Student Vice President.
Can I just say that as a momma, I am so dang proud of her. At her age, I would have never have thought to try for something like that. I enjoyed singing and acting, but being a part of ASB and coming up with ideas to make your school better and help your fellow peers?
Not a chance. But that is Madi. She has a servants heart and she loves volunteering and giving her time. The fact that she went for it amazes me. She knew that she could lose. She went for it anyway. She is much braver than I.
Today, they announced the Student Counsel Body.
Madi had her hopes high this morning. She really wanted to be Vice President.
Today, her little heart was broken. I watched as another well deserving little girl was announced for the coveted position. With her back towards me, I could see herself hunch over, head lowered, and I knew the tears were flowing.
Losing out on something you hope for sucks. There is no better way to say it. It sucks. I have been there many times. I know many of you reading this have been there as well.
As her mama, I tried to comfort as best as I could. I told her today how proud I was of her. Her friends did their best to love on her and tell her they were proud of her as well.
But she needs to experience this disappointment.
Being brave sometimes comes at a cost. Sometimes, your heart gets broken in the process. There are moments of victory, to be sure. But you can expect that when you choose to take chances, you will experience failure.
But praise God failure isn’t final.
“Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.” Psalm 31:24
I think one of the biggest lessons for me as her mama is that I have to allow my children to experience disappointment. They won’t get everything they work for. Trust me, I would much rather have my kids win all the time. But that is not possible. It isn’t reality.
I also know that during these moments of disappointment and failure, character is developed. You really do discover what you are made of and who you are as a person when you experience moments of defeat. I don’t think I have heard a person yet tell me that because they got everything they ever wanted or wished for, they turned out to be a better or stronger person.
I know for myself, it was when I walked through the darkest moments, the hardest times, the storms and the valleys that I discovered strength, perseverance, and who I was. Who God designed me to be. Those moments also gave me an idea of my purpose.
I know that today was merely about losing a school election. Without over spiritualizing it though, I hope that Madi will choose today’s disappointment as an opportunity to learn about what it is she wants to do and her purpose and that she realizes her God given gifts and natural born abilities. My hope is that she and I will have many opportunities to pray together and grow together as she continues to be brave and go out and do things for His Kingdom.
People have a hard time wanting to commit. Whether that be in a dating relationship, ministry, exercise program, playdate, you name it. People are afraid of commitment!
It is like they fear that if they commit, they will be stuck doing it forever. But friends, that is far from the case!
Some commitments are a long time and some are simply for a season. But your YES matters. Why?
Your credibility is at stake. If you are someone who finds yourself saying yes to everyone, but you don’t follow through, or you flake out after things get tough, then I can guarantee that people will be leery of approaching you with other commitments.
I am always brought to this verse when I pray about commitments in my life that I am being asked to consider:
“Let what you say be simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’, anything more than this comes from evil.” Matthew 5:37
Here is why this verse always gives me pause when it comes to decision making.
God is not fickle. He does not ask us to do things for His Kingdom, and then turns around and says never mind when things get difficult. He doesn’t tease us. He doesn’t make promises He cannot keep.
We are created in His image. For those of us who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, we reflect Him. We rely on the Holy Spirit (that was promised to us at conversion) to guide us and enable us to do His will. That means, if we say yes to something (so long as it is not illegal, evil, or sinful), don’t you think the Holy Spirit can empower us to finish through with our yes?
Sometimes, saying yes will be uncomfortable. Sometimes, we are not going to LOVE what we are doing. It can be hard. Most people don’t like hard. We like easy. We like little risk. We don’t want to sacrifice our time, treasures, or talents for the good of others if it doesn’t automatically bless us or make us look good! (That sounds so harsh, but it is a reality! I have been in ministry for nearly 13 years. The stories I could share, but won’t!)
That doesn’t mean we say yes to everything that comes our way. Some opportunities, no matter how good they may be, just don’t fit either because of our current season or interests. Say yes to those you can honestly commit to and with a joyful heart, even if it means someone else is blessed!
And when you say yes, or no, stand by it. Don’t go back and forth. Remember, God was not and is not fickle. We are more like Him when we do this because then we are trustworthy. Just as God is trustworthy.