Today, I write this article as an eligible Christian bachelorette dating joyfully and faithfully – but that wasn’t always the case. In 2014, I dated, believing that I was ready for marriage and thinking that it was the men who I dated who were the ones responsible for the failed relationships. I came to realize, however, that I was the common denominator and responsible party when they went on to get married and engaged…lol. Life-Coaching And so, 2015 was all about working on myself in the context of relationships: learning how to be open-minded, empathetic, patient, gentle, slow-to-anger – ideally never-to-anger, and learning, simply, that the world does not revolve around Jeanette and everyone has a valid point-of-view that deserves consideration. I learned how to be a better counterpart in all of my relationships and I grew by light years. I owe this progress to my life coach, Patty – I call her my Patty in my pocket – she gave me new eyes and a new life. The Rules And with those new eyes, I re-entered the dating pool. I now knew how to be a good girlfriend – a gracious girlfriend. I was excited. And I achieved some success, but I still felt somewhat out of control – some guys worked out and some didn’t and I didn’t know why one way or the other. I needed a game plan – and I was introduced to and read: the Rules. Or rather, I inhaled the Rules. I read every edition available, typically over 1-2 days each. I had hour-long discussions about it w/ my girlfriend who introduced them to me and we agreed to be “Rules friends,” reaching out to each other for “Rules support.” I marveled at how differently and wrongly I had been dating. My entire approach to dating changed. Time-wasters weeded themselves out as only those who were available, interested, and ready rose to the top. And for the first time, I was enjoying dating. I was having a blast, meeting great men, and enjoying fun dates. Then, I finally met a guy who really rose to the top, making it to date 13. He was treating me right, taking me out, respecting me, adoring me, and just being a wonderful man that I loved spending my time with. But…he didn’t love the Lord. He may have identified with Christianity, but he didn’t live for God – not the way I knew I wanted my future husband to. What had happened? Reckless Love In the midst of this dilemma, a friend of mine introduced me to a sermon series called Reckless Love that answered that question for me: I was idolizing marriage. I was making finding the one more important than being content in God. As a result, I was casting too wide of a net. I was casting a net that would capture men who were ready, available, and interested, yes, but not necessarily men of God. I was making having a relationship more important than having a Godly relationship! My friend divulged to me the difficulties of an unequally yoked relationship and I suddenly saw yield signs that forced me to slow down and pay attention. After watching the Reckless Love sermon series, I re-prioritized my source of love to be God’s love over a man’s love. Additionally, I gained a peace with and even an excitement over my singleness. I saw the opportunity in my single hood. I put on the peace of God and the faith that He would bring my man to me in His best timing. I decided to serve God in my single hood and trust Him with my future mate. And once again, I re-entered the dating scene with new eyes: I dramatically changed my dating profile to reflect how important God was in my life and my future mate. Personally, I vetted men with the criteria that they be, yes, ready, available, and interested, but also, men of God. As a result, my dating pool shrank dramatically in quantity and rose in quality. The Wait During this time, I picked up Devon Franklin and Megan Good’s book: the Wait. In them, I saw a couple who was hot and Hollywood and Christian and had found one another and written a book about waiting on sex and waiting in God and I wanted to hear what they had to say. Reading that book affirmed everything that I had learned from Reckless Love – that our single hood is a wonderful time and we should maximize it to become incredible men and women of God and incredible partners for our future spouses. The Wait affirmed believing in God’s provision of a mate and honoring God with our single, dating, engaged, and married lives. Devon and Megan affirmed waiting until after marriage for sex and living together. They affirmed the importance of a short engagement, getting to marriage, employing pre-marriage counseling, and a host of principles that I believe in. And most importantly, they affirmed the beauty, joy, and fullness of doing it God’s way, as they believe that they are living God’s Plan A lives for them today as a result of their obedience and faith. With all of these tools, I am more open, more ready, more patient, more joyful, and more sure of what I’m looking for and able to offer than ever. I marvel at what a journey it has been. I’ve become an entirely different woman in this game of love and it’s been an evolution like none other. I’m so grateful for all of these tools – they have all played a part in teaching me and I use parts of all of them as I navigate this adventure we call love. If you’re struggling, scratching your head, or have even given up in love or life, the best advice that I can give is: keep the faith and don’t give up. It’s in trying different tools, books, talks that we all aggregate what becomes our approach. I do recommend all of the above that I mentioned, but it may not be the perfect fit or the full fit for you. Regardless, keep trying, keep seeking, keep praying…keep the faith…and you’ll find your way!
I’ve heard many variations of the assurance uttered: “All in God’s timing. God’s timing is perfect. When God annoints it, it will make up for lost time. God’s favor is a multiplier.” Various phrases designed to offer the same assurance: that it’s ok if you’re still waiting on something. Have peace and know that He will work it all out. I never quite understood, however, how exactly that was going to play out in real life – until just recently. And here’s how it works. You don’t worry about the timing. You stay faithful and diligent. You keep working on your craft and you keep walking with God. These two principles practiced concurrently ensure that you are happy and at peace no matter where and no matter what. Years may pass in between dreams that may seem like “lost time” in the natural way of thinking. However, in the supernatural, God moves mountains for you, essentially “making up” for the lost time – lettin’ you “skip da line!” At least that’s exactly how it happened for me, clear as day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Several years, ago, I got the comedy itch. I knew I was funny and I knew I loved standup comedy – so why not do it?! I took a standup class, performed at a few open mics, performed as part of a paid show, earned street cred in the comedy circle, and altogether had a great run as a standup comic under my belt! This time also taught me, however, that making it in this world was brutal: hours spent on the open mic circuit night after night, exploiting friends and mailing lists to bring enough guests to “earn” your time on stage, and of course, the tens of hours of constant generating, writing, & perfecting jokes 24/7. I knew that I was done. I had scratched the itch and was not about to begin a comedy career. Sure, I could do it…I just didn’t want to put in all that time. And so I happily returned to acting and spin instructing, now legitimately adding “comedienne” to my resume! Fast forward 3 years and I’m at church one Sunday hearing that our church is sponsoring a Christian Comedy Show! I immediately meet the producer and chat with her, leaving her with our shared comedy background because I did it for two months several years ago! I emailed her the link to said performance, bought tickets to the show, and set out to support the cause! The day of the show, she calls me and asks that I perform. I was completely caught off guard – I don’t know if I’ve ever been more surprised, actually – and stammered that I was in absolutely no position to perform. She proceeded to insist, saying that it was “ordained by God” and lo and behold, I performed that night and HERE is what God did for me!
- I had an incredible performance, surprising my church (pastors included), when I appeared on stage.
- A producer of another comedy show scouted me at that show.
- The headliner’s manager sought me out after the show as well.
- I was invited to join the the Christmas show lineup for Artistic New Directions, winning over the whole room.
- I performed and hosted with the same Christian Comedy Show two months later (both times at Comic Strip Live).
- I performed in the 6th annual Gospel Comedy Show at Long Island University’s Kumble Theatre the day after Christmas, with my sister, niece, & brother-in-law in the audience.
I pray to rest in peace and assurance that my job is to simply work hard and walk hard [with the Lord] and my path can never be wrong.My path will be intact, my steps will be ordered, and I will always be OK! I want this to encourage you to do the same. God’s promise in the Bible is that He has good and prosperous plans for you! (Jeremiah 29:11). Living like this means that you live without worry or anxiety, just like all of God’s other creatures, knowing that worry will not add a single hour to your life. (Matthew 6:25-34). Living like this means that your priority is putting God first, knowing that this most critical step paves the way for all other things to take care of themselves…ie: all other things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). You will get your dream(s)…and instead of battling for them, they will be gifted to you! You will get the dream career, the dream man, the dream apartment, the dream french bulldog, the dream body. You should insert your own dreams here 😉 Here’s the funny way in which it works sometimes: by walking with God, you have insurance that things will work out, that He will work things out for our good (Romans 8:28). God will either realize this through granting us our very wish as we envision it or by adjusting our vision so that our wish is closer to where we already are. The beauty of this? Contentment, either way. It’s the only way to live in true contentment and thus, the only way to live for me. Follow God’s lead and believe that there is no better way!
Hi guys! This podcast from Michael Hyatt, which I was listening while running on Tuesday, took on new meaning while I was speaking with a friend last night at dinner. In the podcast, Michelle is being interviewed by Michael (which is a role reversal!) about her life’s huge curveballs in the form of cancer and adopting three children! The huge takeaway from this for me, which only took on meaning for me two days later, was that God provides enough manna for the day…and that’s all we need. While Michelle was struggling with her cancer diagnosis, she realized that God got her through it day by day for four years and will continue to do so. Naturally, she wanted more than just one day’s worth of provision. She wanted to see the light at the end of the tunnel already. She wanted complete healing already. She wanted victory over it already. But just like in the Bible, when the Israelites greedily attempted to collect more than what God intended for them to collect for the day (just a day’s worth of sustenance), the rest of it would rot. They needed to trust that God would sustain them the following day all over again. And He did. I realized yesterday that I am in a rush for certain things in my life. But God is growing and preparing me. My foundation is being solidified so that when I expand, I won’t collapse. My friend asked me, “Do you want to grow too fast and then collapse or not be able to handle the growth?” He gave me the example of the Freedom Towers’ construction and how long the laying of the foundation took compared to the building of the rest of the towers. I realized that a slow steady construction is preferable because the subsequent growth will be lasting and sustainable. And so, I will stop looking for the final result to happen today. I will trust that whatever God provides for me today is what I’m supposed to consume and that bit by bit, day by day, promise by promise, I will get to the Promised Land! Can you be grateful to God for giving you manna to conduct your business today, execute your exercise and diet today, pay for things today, extend grace, patience, and joy today? Can you be at peace with one day’s worth of provision rather than attempting to collect for the future? It’s terrifyingly freeing! Amen! PS: Listen and subscribe to the podcast if you want!
I’ve heard and retold many a story of how “God’s timing is perfect.” Of these, there are countless. From how my pastor’s wife waited until forty for marriage to how she miscarried several times to how now, she is the mother of two adopted newborn twin girls with the man of her dreams is one very real example. There is an often-cited anecdote that people use to demonstrate how God may often be “saving you” from something when seemingly causing a delay in your life. ie: that traffic jam that you’re in could be saving you from that accident up ahead. The final idea is-which is something that I’ve really clung to recently-is the idea that you don’t “define God based on your circumstances; you define your circumstances based on God.” One you’ve decided that “God is good all the time; all the time, God is good,” your circumstances are simply an exercise in faith. This is all easy to say, but I know it’s hard and I’ve been through the bleak moments when I’ve wondered myself. But the breakthroughs will come and when they do, you go ahead and record them and blog about them and keep them around because breakthroughs are testimonies. And now I’mma share mine! I just got out of a very bleak time where I felt, in the most scientific of terms, in a schlump. On the heels of heartbreak, my feelings began to snowball to include loneliness, depression, and an overall absence of joy, energy, and purpose. It was bad, ya’ll. I would put on a happy face and happy energy for just long enough to get through teaching a class or completing an audition – and then I would default to sad clown face. Through this time, I prayed, I read, and I learned a lot. But I was still there, in the winter, emotionally. I started to question my career, city of living – everything went under the microscope for examination during this time of unhappiness as I tried to “get to the root.” Some important pieces of background information:
- I’ve always been a commercial actor with no intention of pursuing tv or film acting.
- I’ve always taught fitness classes as a “side hustle” to my commercial acting.
- After my heartbreak, I was shaken enough to receive a friend’s referral to her therapist and have been working with her since.
This is a long overdue post – a write-up from an event that I attended this past summer – a latergram, if you will…haha! Over the summer, I attended Joel Osteen’s “Night of Hope” at Yankee Stadium. My church, Every Nation NYC, is a supporter of Joel, and because of this event, I became familiar with his sermons, books, and message…of hope! I’m a fan – and took copious notes as he spoke to us that night at Yankee Stadium. Here is what I managed to capture from the night. Keep in mind that these are in note-taking format – just phrases and bullet-points, but powerful and straight from God’s mouth to Joel’s ears to these notes!
- Start each day with faith. Say, “Thank you for another day, Lord!” The right perspective sets you up for a positive day.
- Your tape – many psychologists call it an internal dialogue – if it’s negative, you’ll never get to your potential
- Start each day fresh. Forgive people from yesterday, forgive the mistakes from yesterday, forgive yourself.
- God can use anybody and any situation. Abraham was old, Moses stuttered, Thomas doubted, Mariam gossiped, Zaccheaus was short, Lazarus was dead. What’s your excuse?! (this last one got a good laugh from the audience ;))
- When Joel’s mom was sick and given only weeks to live, she posted up pictures all over her house of herself – getting married, riding horses, being healthy and happy. At that time, looking in the mirror gave her a vision of death, so she put up the pictures of life. So see yourself accomplishing your dreams – use the power of vision.
- Sometimes, God will take you away from the fire but sometimes, God will make you fireproof and take you through the fire. His hedge of protection is that he’s made you fireproof. All that will burn off are your limitations.
- Quit worrying about what isn’t; it wasn’t meant to be.
- Praise precedes the victory
- It’s easy to have a good attitude when you’re on the mountaintop
- Shout before the walls come down
- Your darkest hour can be your brightest hour
- Joel shared about his father passing and how devastating it was for him to lose his father and for the church to lose their pastor. Joel never wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, but he was thrust into the role and found himself carrying out his father’s dreams of expanding the church until they now occupy the Compaq center in Texas!
- God’s dream for your life is so much bigger
- Call out the seeds of greatness
- Re: the Word-I am what it says I am, I can do what it says I can do
- The things that stink in your life, the stinky stuff, works for you. You can’t get through life without fertilizer. God wouldn’t have allowed it if it wasn’t meant to be used for your advantage. The more stink, the more fertilizer. Quit complaining about the fertilizer. Remember it is fertilizer, it can propel you into your destiny. There’s promotion in that stink. Embrace the stink. If you’ve had a lot of stink, it means God has a huge destiny for you. Think of the difficult people as fertilizer for you.
- Why are some victors and others victims?
- Don’t just go through it, grow through it
- Winning is in your DNA
- Ditch to prison all the way to the palace. You’re destined to live in the palace. These aren’t the ends-don’t get comfortable in the pit, get your fire back. Your story ends in the palace.
- David used the sword of Goliath to defeat Saul, the same exact swords that were meant to defeat you, you will use towards victory.
- Rummaging through garbage for hours. God can make music out of trash. He can take the very thing meant to defeat you and use it to promote you. The injustice, trash, mistakes, stink, etc will be used.
Do you juice? Do you make smoothies? In today’s hyper-aware health and fitness culture, I would imagine this question would land amidst a familiar audience. If this is the case, as I hope so, then you must have experienced the difference between washing your juicer/blender immediately after using it as opposed to even an hour later? Astounding, no?! I make these thick chocolate breakfast shakes (Shakeology, to be specific – I recommend it – you get the veggie requirement for the day right there!) But anyways, where was I? Oh yes, so when my smoothie is finished, the blender has a chocolate film all along the inside. It looks properly used and soiled and one might be tempted to put off the task of washing it or deem this a job for the dishwasher. Yet, thrusting it under the faucet just for a moment will reveal just how quickly the film will rinse clear off the glass surface, revealing nothing but sparkling glass once again! If I discipline myself to do this rinse within a five minute window of having used the blender, I’ll never even have to reach for soap or a scrub. And with minimal water and effort, my blender can be used daily, just like that, without ever having to see the dishwasher. What does this require? 1) I have to know that this is possible 2) I have to discipline myself, even with this knowledge, to get in action during the window of opportunity 3) I have to rinse and repeat. “If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” -1John 1:9 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” -Matthew 3:8 Offenses and sin weigh us down and soil us. But here’s the good news: Forgiveness is guaranteed and immediate. In the midst of sin, turn away immediately, and repent. I have found myself in moments where I am consciously plucking myself out of sin, simultaneously repenting and removing myself – physically and spiritually, from the sin. At times, there is a blur between what comes first: the discipline, the repentance, or the renewal – they simply work in harmony to save you. So the morale of the story? Rinse daily before you have to take out the big guns and do the heavy washing or break out the dishwasher for the weekly wash. Just a gentle rinse will cleanse if done immediately and daily. And before long, it will become reflexive. Your communion with God will remain clear and open, without debris clogging your heart and walk. Rock on, loves! muah xoxo
COULD YOU BE MISCOMMUNICATING YOUR LOVE? Isn’t it hard to communicate effectively with someone who speaks a different language? The effectiveness of people communicating in two different languages to each other is not much. Additionally, it’s usual laborious at best and excruciating at worst. Now imagine if this was characteristic of the communication between you and your loved one! It’s true – you may be communicating your love to your partner in a way that he/she is not receiving it and vice versa! Your love language is the form through which you give and receive love. LEARN YOUR LOVE LANGUAGE Gary Chapman has created the concept of there being 5 categories of love languages:
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
This book by Shaunti Feldhahn is A-Ma-Zing. You will learn everything that you need to know to hack your relationship, demystify your man, and get what you want out of love. I believe it. I can’t say that I’m living proof. Yet. But I’m excited enough to share this with you because this book literally brought tears to my eyes as I learned everything that I had done wrong and everything I can do right to make it all work. This book speaks truths, is Biblical, and hits the nail on the head so many times in such a conversational, page-turner voice that I truly recommend it to any woman. Whether you are in a relationship, in between relationships, or something else, this book is a beautiful insight into these creatures that we seemingly can’t live with or without…men! I’m sharing the first chapter with you because it was the most profound for me, and then I want you to buy it right here for less than $3.50…and that includes shipping and handling! Men Are Hired-Wired to need Respect and Affirmation When asked whether they would rather be “alone and unloved” or “inadequate and disrespected,” 74% of men chose the former. This is how important respect is to them. To men, respect and love are the same thing; they don’t differentiate between the two. So, if a man feels disrespected, he feels unloved. And if you want to love your man in the way he needs to be loved, then you need to ensure that he feels your respect above all else.
Women need love. Men need respect. The Bible says “Men, love your wives; women, respect your husbands.” (Eph 5) Is that not amazing?!In response to feeling unloved, women break down and cry. In response to feeling disrespected, men get angry. He won’t necessarily spell out “You’re disrespecting me!” but you can be pretty sure that if he’s angry at something and you don’t understand the cause, there’s a good chance that he is feeling the pain or humiliation of your disrespect. Unconditional Respect Just as you want the man in your life to give you unconditional love, your man needs you to demonstrate your respect for him regardless of whether he’s meeting your expectations at the moment. It does tremendous things for your man to know that you are choosing to trust and honor him. It’s a Choice! Just as our men can choose to demonstrate love toward us even if they don’t feel it at the moment, we can and should choose to demonstrate respect. It has to be Shown! Feeling respect for our men, but not showing it is the same as their feeling love for us but not showing it. It’s like that awful joke: “Why do I have to tell my wife I love her? I told her that when we got married!” Now comes the million-dollar question: How do we demonstrate this respect?! Respect His Judgement Many men wished their mate wouldn’t question their decisions all the time; there’s a need for us to defer to them sometimes…yes, even in these liberated days! Imagine your man feeling that his opinions and decisions were valued everywhere else but the home?! Women run the risk of making their men feel stupid! You don’t want that problem! Respect His Abilities Men want, and maybe even need to figure things out for themselves. Let him fiddle with it for hours; they’ll feel like they’ve conquered something and are affirmed as men. Sometimes, interfering because we really don’t trust them demonstrates that distrust and will come back to bite us. The lesson: let him drive around without asking for directions; choose to trust that he knows what he’s doing and will figure it out; it’s more important to have him feel trusted than get to that party on time. Respect in Communication Women hold an incredible power in the way we communicate with our men to build them up or tear them down, to encourage or to exasperate. Some things just push a man’s buttons – even how we say it and where we say it. Example of hearing disrespect: A wife tells her husband, who wants to take a crack at fixing something, “Well, you’re not really the fix-it-type” and he feels so insulted. Example or hearing disappointment: A wife reminds her husband that the kitchen wall still needed to be fixed. The man sees it as nagging or an accusation of laziness or mistrust. Example of hearing attacks: A woman asks “Do you know how to put together a romantic event…” and then switches it to “Suppose you had to plan an anniversary event…Do you know how…?” Softening the approach changes everything! Let us make every effort to put on a “disrespect meter” before letting words pass through our lips. Respect in Public Dozens of men confessed as to how painful it is when their wives criticize them in public, put them down, or even question their judgement in front of others. Teasing can be torture. Many of us have wondered why our men – normally so good natured – get so upset by a little public joking. The only time a guy’s guard is completely down is with the woman he loves. So she can pierce his heart like no one else. Be Respectful even when he’s Absent Complaining about your man to others, which perpetuates a dissatisfaction that affects him – we must kill this terrible habit! Showing Public Respect goes a long way Taking those little opportunities to honestly praise him or ask his opinion in front of others will build him up and he’ll think you’re the most wonderful woman in the world. “She has to make me feel respected so that I can command respect out there in the world. If she defeats me emotionally, I can’t win the race and bring home the prize for her.” In Conclusion We as women hold incredible power – and responsibility – in our hands. We have the ability to either build up or tear down our men. We can either strengthen or hobble them in ways that go far beyond our relationship. From now on, choose to demonstrate respect and choose not to demonstrate disrespect, starting with never humiliating them in public. Take every opportunity, in private and in public, to demonstrate – through words and actions – how proud we are of our men and how much we trust them. Behind every man is a great woman If a man’s wife is supportive and believes in him, he can conquer the world – or at least his corner of it. He will do better at work, at home, everywhere. By contrast, men can do well at work or at home if their wives make them feel inadequate. This concludes the first chapter of this book and only the first of seven incredible revelations about men. You deserve to get this book! I’ve learned so much and you will too. Go on and git it! Thank you Shaunti Feldhahn, for your gift to the world.
I’ve noticed for some time now, that when I am speaking about God or Christianity, that I can often use exercise as an analogy. It struck me the other day because I’m on a training regimen with so many components that building them into my lifestyle is the key to it’s existence and success; just like my faith. I’ll unpack that a bit for you, along with some other correlations that I find helpful. IT’S A LIFESTYLE: To me, there is a 3-Pronged approach to creating a lifestyle: habits, schedule, community. Neither faith or fitness is something that you can implement part of the time and experience measurable results. Your faith and your fitness, if you want to be a warrior in either, have to be lifestyles that include daily practices, recurring calendar appointments, and people. for me: this means that I have certain habits that I do daily: I drink [a gallon] of water a day, I cook my own meals, I pray as soon as I wake up, then I eat breakfast. I also have chosen to be a fitness instructor so that exercise is literally a non-negotiable appointment on my calendar several times a week. “Church” is also on repeat in my calendar. It’s the people who have people at the gym and church who are more apt to stick with the program. Don’t be a loner in a lifestyle that you want to go after. There’s still much more to improve upon, but I live fitness and I live in faith. They are lifestyles. THE PAIN BECOMES GAIN: When you lift weights, you are literally tearing the muscle fibers. Muscles grow larger and stronger when they repair themselves after being torn; so, the situation has to get worse before it gets better. Interesting, huh?! In the same way, God grows our character through trials: periods of loneliness during which we grow closer to Him, temptations that strengthen our character, hopelessness that sends us into intercessory prayer. On the other side of this: we are physically stronger from pushing those weights, feeling that soreness, and bearing that pain. And we are spiritually stronger from the trials that we have endured. for me: this means that I am exhausted at the end of a weight-lifting session, but then I get to see and feel the growth in my muscles and I witness progress with the amount of weight I can lift. I feel accomplished when I move up the weight rack! In my spiritual life, it means that when I look back at the bleak times in my life, I can appreciate how far I’ve come, and I can see the contrast between that and a life with God’s presence in it. THERE IS A DEVIL TO RESIST Both faith and fitness require staying on the narrow path in order to achieve the results or the life we want. These narrow paths are choked by temptations that we must resist. In fitness, it’s chocolate cake, alcohol, and french fries. In faith, it’s sex before marriage, gossip, and unforgiveness. It is in the resisting of these temptations that we can experience the fullness of the body and spirit that we are seeking. Resisting temptation also becomes easier over time. for me: this means that my home is filled with healthy food and Bible verses. I don’t bring things into my home that will thwart my goals. I admire and drink from sources that are respectable leaders in both industries so that my mind stays on track. ACCOUNTABILITY IS KEY Group fitness classes and community worship simply have better success rates than going at these things alone. Even if we’re talking about one additional person, having someone to go to the gym or go to church with will oftentimes mean the difference between doing it or not. Announcing that you’re going on a diet or surrendering something to God increases the success rate as well. Man was not made to go at life alone; hook up with a buddy for the things that are important. for me: this doesn’t necessarily mean that I have a buddy to do everything with, but it does mean that I become related to the people around me: trainers, students, fellow gym rats, pastors, fellow church go-ers, in order to build a community and have accountability. IT TAKES FAITH, TRUST THE PROCESS Anything worth having is worth waiting for, right?! It’s usually around after one month of compliance with a diet and exercise plan that I begin to notice results. That’s one month of just eating and moving in faith. In the same way, we have to take a leap of faith to jump into a life with God and be vulnerable in order to experience His fullness. We have to move into his calling, sometimes against all logic, without seeing any hope, and just believe that He is for us. for me: this means that I operate on faith and that I gobble up fitness success stories and testimonies from faithful Christians to fuel that faith. I live my Christian life based on principle, not emotion and I eat for nutrition, not to feed my feelings. These photos are from Shields of Strength, a company that has fused faith and fitness into fantastic jewelry designs. I love the concept, obviously, and shall be buying one!