Letting go of the label "the rejected one"

A while back I found myself in a bit of a tiff with my parents.

It’s not often that we fight.  In fact, it’s very rare.  But quite honestly, I was in an extremely hard season of my life and unfortunately my parents became the ones I unapologetically purged my anger out on. And (praise the Lord) they didn’t mind it the majority of the time.  

This specific day though, I found myself once again obnoxiously crying on my parents porch and processing with them a certain person’s actions in my life.  This person had really hurt me —like BAD.  It threw me for an emotional loop for a solid 6 months.  

Most of the time my parents would simply sit, listen, and validate my feelings.  But this day, I found them seemingly taking the other person’s side. (Sidenote:  Looking back now they were only speaking truth that I needed to hear.  Thanks mom and dad.)  

WHAT???? HOW DARE THEY!!!!!! I quietly thought to myself as I found myself a hot boiling mess…

Eventually I couldn’t take it any longer as I exploded out loud, “I’M THE REJECTED ONE HERE!!!!!!!!!”  

AND BAM.  

All of the sudden it occurred to me I was carrying something I never in my right mind thought I would do.  I was carrying the label “victim.”  Or, “the rejected one.”  And I was allowing this person’s actions to dictate my beliefs about my identity.  

It was humbling to realize —considering I teach this stuff. 

(Insert hand to face emoji).

….

Later that night I found myself lying on my floor, desperately asking the Lord how to get rid of this crippling label “the rejected one.”  

I realized it wasn’t as easy as it seems.  

Holding on to feeling like a “victim” created this illusion of safety for some reason. Like…for me to actually let this go and believe I’m “chosen” again because that’s what God says about me felt pretty vulnerable and scary.  I knew it required an element of faith.  

Eventually I felt the Lord reveal something to me.  And though this seems like basic truth, I believe some of us need to be reminded of this today.   

No matter the season, we will ALWAYS have an opportunity to allow people and circumstances to dictate our beliefs about our identity.  However, we will never actually thrive in the calling he has for us until we learn to live from the unseen. Until we learn to live with conviction of who HE says we are.    

In the natural it looks like I’m “rejected,” but God says I’m chosen!   

And his word MUST trump my perceived reality.  

....

My question for you is this...

Are there specific people in your life that you have allowed to dictate your perceptions of how you see yourself?  

My prayer is that you will draw near to God and begin to ask Him who He says you are.  I pray he gives you the strength to stand your ground and hold on tightly to His words no matter what may come your way.

Yes and Amen :) 

 

When Life Feels Out of Control

I gotta admit —I never thought I’d be that person.  

You know…the kind of person who is so consumed with oneself and tries to carry the illusion of perfection.  

Perfect hair.  Perfect skin.  Outfit always on fleek.  Seemingly walks in heels like it’s no big deal.  Eats clean. Works out 6 days a week.  Reads her bible every day…

Etc Etc….the list could go on and on….

That’s become the epitome of my life.  And quite frankly, I’m so dang exhausted.  

Actually, exhaustion is an understatement.  More like, I’m so dang tired of subconsciously masking my bleeding heart and fighting for joy and warring my fears every morning when my entire life feels out of control.  

That's the raw honest truth.  My heart is grieving.  I’m tired and hurt.  And thats okay.  

…..

I don’t write this to throw a pity party.  I actually would prefer to not post any of this on the internet.  But I think it’s so important that if I’m going to have a blog, or a ministry, or do anything for God for that matter, that I exude honesty and humility.  I’m not exactly interested in being led by people who don’t know how to split their hearts open before others.  If they can’t split their hearts open before men, whose to say they can be honest and broken before the Lord? Just a little side note for you :) 

….

The other day I found myself in a worship service, face down on the floor lying in a pool of snot, as I began to see the reality of my aching soul.  Again and again, I’m reminded that I’m grieving.  I feel out of control.  I feel like God has essentially escorted me to the pit because there’s some major lessons I need to learn and I’m doing everything in my power to resist.  

And although maintaining my external persona (like fashion, skin care, eating clean, working out, etc.) are not bad things, the sad reality is they’ve become my way of gaining a sense of power —when everything else in my life feels out of control.  

Just a little word to the wise…If my only way of feeling powerful is by micro-managing and psychotically controlling my external world, I will inevitably DIE A SLOW DEATH.  

….

I’ve realized over the years of learning myself (and also working with people), that humanity was created with a God-given need for power.  And if we are not intentionally drawing near to God and finding our sense of power through him and the leading of his spirit, we WILL naturally seek to have our need for power met through other outlets.

I believe this is the most common root behind additions (i.e. pornagraphy, alcohol and drug abuse, shopping, hulu and netflix, working out, eating disorders, etc.).

“I feel out of control right now… therefore, I’m going to escape for a moment and go do whatever the heck I want and answer to absolutely nobody but myself.”

“My family and marriage feels out of control right now and the only relief I can find from all this chaos is when I look at porn.”

“I’m not happy with my life, but at least when I shop it makes me feel like my life is better than it actually is.” 

"I can't control that relationship, but I can control the way I look."  

These thought patterns are often going on within the subconscious realm.  Most people do not know why they do what they do.  They’re left thinking the addiction is the problem.  People are left thinking they just like alcohol…or they just have an addiction to sex. 

No.  

The truth is --you just felt out of control. 

And now, this addiction is a learned behavior that you've trained your brain to gravitate towards in order to find temporary relief.  When everything else feels in chaos, at least there’s that “one thing” that brings you pleasure.  

….

My biggest encouragement is to get brutally honest with yourself and ask the question, “How do I cope with my life when it feels out of control?”  

Many of us have coping mechanisms we’re not even remotely aware of.  And although there are healthy ways of seeking our God-given needs for power and control, if we are not ultimately clinging to the presence of God (first and foremost) we will keep going back to the same pattern over and over.

Additionally, I do think as an overflow of spending time with God and leaning into HIM as our source of strength, there are still many behavioral/proactive ways we can seek a healthy sense of power every day.  These skills are beneficial to helping people no longer gravitate to unhealthy behavioral patterns in order to find relief.  

Heres a few of my ideas:

-Play time!  Do something for you on a weekly/monthly basis.  Go have some guilt-free enjoyable time for yourself (i.e. bike ride, beach, read a book, mini vacation, etc.) 

-Find a discipline that helps you gain a sense of self-control in your life.  Every day when I go to the gym (although I can be unhealthy with this as well and make it my idol) there is a sense of power I get when I choose to go beyond my fickle feelings and get my butt up to work out.  I am reminded “Oh wait.  I am capable.  I’m not a victim.”)  

-Set boundaries with people & circumstances you feel out of control with.  I’d encourage you to read the book ‘Boundaries’ by Cloud & Townsend. 

-Intentionally meditate upon the powerful decisions you make on a daily basis that you often forget (i.e. You might feel like a victim at your job but the truth is you still wake up every morning to drive to work.  That's a powerful decision.  You still choose that --you are much less of a victim than you think.)  

....

Healthy lives don't just happen you guys.  And your addiction is rooted in something FAR beyond the actual thing you are seeking.

I pray the Lord reveals to you why you do what you do.  And then shows you healthy ways to seek your God-given need for power (even when life feels out of control).  He's the best counselor there is.  

 

 

No Really...He's a Perfect Father

Yesterday, as I was in my little hide out at work (a.k.a…the Glennonhouse attic) I realized something.  Everything I had written down for 2018 and the things I was contending for had a whole lot to do with me —me...me...me.  I mean sure, my requests aligned with God’s heart, but they were still a bit selfish once I honestly reflected upon them.  

I had to repent for a moment. 

It’s so easy to come to God flooded with requests and never stop to consult him on what’s stirring HIS heart.  

So I paused for a second…and then I asked Him, ”God…what’s on your heart?”

It didn’t take long for me to get an answer.  

I felt the Holy Spirit subtly whisper, “Janae, I’m so misunderstood.  If people really knew me and my big daddy heart, I’d NEVER be rejected or blamed.”  

The nudging of the Holy Spirit was like a piercing fire within me.  All of the sudden the things I was contending for held a lot less weight.  It’s probably what Jesus meant when he said, “My food is to do the will of my father.”  There is something life-giving when we begin to partner with God to see his will done here on earth.  

….

So yesterday, after feeling the prompting of the Lord to be his biggest advocate on his true father’s heart…I sat down and made a list.

What are the traits of a perfect father?

Here's a few things that came to my mind…

1.  A perfect father is fully convinced of the worth and awesomeness of his children —having absolutely nothing to do with their actions.  A perfect father loves his children simply because they’re his offspring.  

I know for me, my earthly father was not perfect, but (low-key) sometimes I have to ask myself what he did wrong…cause it beats me.  I had a pretty dang good father.  And one thing that I learned from him, which has marked me to my core, is unconditional love.

No matter how rebellious, sassy, overweight, ugly (and trust me my middle school years were  quite miserable), independent, and controlling I was at certain times in my life,  my father was FULLY CONVINCED that I was awesome and was going to change the world one day.  There was absolutely nothing I could say or do to convince him of other wise.  Even when I was at my worst.  

This is how God loves us. 

Nothing you could ever say or do could make God change his mind about you.

He knows authentic you.  The you that was created before he even placed you inside your mother’s womb.  The one he chose before he even decided what family you’d be born in, or the stories that make up who you are (Jeremiah 1:5).  

He’s fully convinced about that you —the authentic you.  

2. A perfect father does not punish simply to inflict pain. He only allows his child to experience pain because he sees the opportunity for growth in his or her life (even at the risk that the child will be angry at him for a season).  

In a healthy parent/child interaction, the father only disciplines with an end goal in mind —to help the child grow into maturity.  No healthy earthly father is going to inflict pain on his children simply because he feels like it…or because they “deserve” it.  Sure, many of us have experienced this reality, but that is not a true representation of a perfect father.  

I meet with far too many individuals on a daily basis that are left paralyzed because of their anger at God.  Why?  Because they’ve allowed themselves to toil with questions like, “Why did God allow this pain and suffering?  How could he actually be good if he did not stop this?

You guys, there are many questions we have that will not be answered on this side of eternity.  But I am sick and tired of blaming God for what the enemy has been doing —not God.  According to the very foundation of what we believe (scripture), the devil is roaring around seeking whom he can devour.  He has come to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).  He is the author of sickness, of pain, of suffering.  Not God.  God came to bring life —and life ABUNDANTLY.

It’s really important that any conclusion we make about God is found in the character of Jesus, because Jesus came to reveal the father. 

So what do we see in Jesus?  We see kindness.  We see a deep love for the sinner.  Healing.  Forgiveness.  Fellowship.  Compassion.  Willingness to see the roots behind every human heart. A hatred for religious rules and earthly judgement.  

This is who Jesus is.  And this is who my father is —point blank.

Jesus never sent away a sick person simply because he or she still needed to go through a “process.”  Jesus never condemned sinners who came to him out of their need for help.  That’s not what Jesus did. Therefore, I cannot conclude that this is who my father is.  

God ONLY uses pain for a time of training.  He only uses it for our greater good. 

Hebrews 12: 7-11 --As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. 

I believe if we stop blaming God for what the enemy is doing, and we take all our anger and channel it towards destroying the works of the devil, we will see a great awakening and the true goodness of God will be revealed to the people desperately longing to encounter it.

COMMON LORD.

3.  A perfect father loves to be with his kids.  His #1 priority is connection —over his work and their work.  

In a healthy parent/child relationship, a father does not value work over connection.  God is not too busy with other things to be with you.  That’s why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit —the Holy Spirit was given to us so that we can be with the presence of God at ALL times. 

The reality is, all the things we’re looking for in a human —connection, consistency, loyalty, unconditional love, joy, humor, adventure, the promise the person will never fail us, etc.—all these things can actually only be guaranteed by God.  

God ALWAYS wants to be with us.  That will never change.  He is consistent, loyal, faithful, unwavering.  He is longing for intimacy beyond simply "working" for him.  

So why the heck do we push him away?

Beats me.

I pray for those of you wrestling with questions of “Why?” Or, “How can he be good?” that you would be free enough to come before the Lord and hash it out with him.  Get in touch with your anger and tell him how it makes you feel.  Don’t suppress those questions or emotions.  God can handle your honesty because in a healthy parent/child relationship there should be full freedom to express oneself.     

However, my biggest encouragement is after you’ve hashed it out…surrender your need to "know." If we live with the constant need to logically explain the mysteries of God, we will ALWAYS be left discouraged and confused.  

I pray you will read about the life and heart of Jesus and fall in love with him.  I promise you the life of Jesus WILL reveal the true father heart of God.  And goodness, when we truly encounter his wild and relentless love, we will NEVER doubt or push God away again.

Fully Present

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God.”  (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent far too many years of my life “seeking the will of God” (aka….trying to figure out all the details of my life).    

But the more that I come to fall in love with Jesus, the more I realize he’s just not quite interested in me knowing all the specifics.  The romantic lover that he is is much more interested in taking me on a wild journey filled with surprises —teaching me to be fully present with him and others on a daily basis.  

A couple of months ago I was taken through a God encounter at my job. (Don’t know what that is?  Basically it’s an interactive experience in your imagination believing in faith the Holy Spirit is speaking.)  In this encounter, I saw a vision of Jesus and I going on a walk; he wanted to speak to me of what’s to come.  However Jesus in my vision, turned to me and said “I don’t want to walk there.  I want to dance there.”  It was really sweet, but low key…I was initially annoyed.  I was so ready for him to show me all that was ahead, but instead he wanted me to be fully present and lock eyes with him while he led me on this journey.  

My stubbornness didn’t exactly last long in this vision considering the nearness of Jesus became intoxicating.  (You guys, theres something so sweet about believing in faith what you’re seeing is actually God.  Its truly is one of the most satisfying and comforting experiences.)  Needless to say, I became very aware of how disinterested Jesus was in showing me all the intricate details of his promises.  He was much more interested in connection.  And the more I come to know God and read about his interactions with his people in Scripture, the more I come to realize the fullness of this revelation.  

God's number one priority is connection and intimacy with his children.    

Which is why God often refrains from giving us the exact details of our callings;  he loves when his children lean into him as their only source.  This is where true satisfaction comes from —intimacy, connection, belonging.  

….

During the most trying season of my life (currently), God is leading me to go digging for his treasure that I wouldn’t exactly be able to find unless I was desperate enough to go get it.  This kind of treasure can only be found through discipline…determination…persistence.  

And out of all the wild treasure I’ve found in this lovely (sometimes not so lovely) wilderness, I must say the one thing I’ve learned the most…

to be fully present…

In. Every. Little. Thing. I.  Do.  

Every day of my life, no matter the circumstance, I am given the opportunity to choose joy.  Scripture says the will of God is to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all things.”  This has absolutely nothing to do with thinking about tomorrow.  It was everything to do with the NOW.  It has everything to do with connection with Jesus in his presence on a daily basis.

Every day the Lord prepares a feast for me. It’s my daily bread for the taking.

The problem is most of the time I’m far too busy thinking about tomorrow’s feast.  And I spend my days eating the scraps from yesterday’s feast because I have zero expectation to wildly encounter God TODAY.  

So what does fully present even look like? 

Well, heres what I’ve concluded so far...

When I wake up in the morning, I want to wake up dreaming for the beautiful things God has in store for that specific day.  I want to walk into my quiet time on my porch with full expectation that God is going to speak to me. He's going to give me insight into his voice and his word, and this is going to propel me into the rest of my day from feasting off his bread.  .  

When I am with a person, I want to look them dead in the eyes and listen and love them as if they were the only person that mattered in that moment.

When I am eating good food, I want to savor every little bite.  I want to take note of the flavors, while thanking and praising God in the midst.

When I am in a certain environment, whether enjoyable or not, I want to be aware of what God is saying and how he feels about the people amongst me.  I want to know where Jesus is and what he is doing/saying in that moment.  

When I am in a crowd, I want to know who God is highlighting for me to love on and be the hands and feet of Jesus to.  I want to look at the person as if he or she is the only person in the room.  

When I encounter a blessing, no matter how much "lack" I feel in my life, I want to sing and shout for joy because my heart is overflowing with thankfulness.  I don’t want to be so consumed with contending for a massive breakthrough that I forget the little day-to-day blessings.  

To sum it all up in a few words….I want to be joyful and thankful for TODAY.  

I'll let God take care of tomorrow. It’s so much better his way :)

 

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Breakthrough --Directly Attached to Living Without offeNse

Lately the Lord has been teaching me some hard lessons.  And though they seem excruciatingly painful and practically impossible to live out in the moment, I’m realizing these principles are what’s going to set me up for sustainable success in the long run.  It’s what will propel me to living in the fulfillment of my dreams —and I’ll thank Him later for it.  

….

For starters, I’m learning that breakthrough in our lives is directly attached to our ability to forgive —and live without offense.

I could tell you countless stories of people I meet with on a daily basis who are sitting around angry at God for not giving them what they’ve asked for and they feel stuck; but yet, when you look closely at their lives you realize how angry and offended they are at the people who have wronged them.  And rightfully so…I get it.  Many people have been brutally mistreated, betrayed, unloved, abused, etc.  It makes sense why they’d be angry.  

The harsh reality though is that un-forgiveness is only harming you—not them.  Often we think if we stay angry we will protect ourselves from more hurt, but that way of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth.  I believe one of the harshest concepts Jesus ever talked about in Scripture is forgiveness (Matthew 18).  It was purely out of the kindness of His heart, because He knows the disgusting poison that takes root when we choose to let our wounds fester.  

When we choose to hand over our offense to God, and let Him be the judge (not us), this will propel us into the fulfillment of our destiny.  

…..

Over the past couple of weeks God has led me to two different stories within Scripture that have been hardcore reiterating what He's been teaching me.  Specifically, the reality that breakthrough is directly attached to living un-offended.  

  1. The story of Job

I don’t know about you, I’ve heard this story multiple times in my life, but rarely ever did I hear the small little detail at the end of the story (that I believe changes EVERYTHING).  Job had everything taken from him by the enemy.  This includes his wife, kids, his belongings, and his personal health.  And not only that, but Job had some loud-mouth friends who tried to condemn him and get him to turn his back on God.  But heres the kicker ****Job’s breakthrough came when God at the end of the story told Job to PRAY FOR HIS FRIENDS.  This is when God returned everything back tenfold.  I’m pretty sure Job’s heart had to be pure (and unoffended) to pray for his friends in order for God to actually reward him for it.  I’m convinced, Job’s prayer exemplified forgiveness towards His friends, which led to endless blessing and total restoration.

2.  The story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50) 

This second story was definitely a new revelation for me.  Personally, over the years I’ve read Joseph’s story and honestly been quite annoyed that he had to go through YEARS of hardship before restoration came.  I used to find myself wrestling with God about the “waiting” season for Joseph, asking the Lord why the heck it took so long to see his dream fulfilled and family restored.  But this time around, God showed me something new.  (And yes…feel free to take this before God because the bible doesn’t actually say this.) But I felt the Lord show me that the reason why it was YEARS in the waiting, was because Joseph was so deeply wounded by being sold into slavery by his brothers, that God had to heal his heart and bring him into forgiveness before God’s plan could ever be fulfilled.  The breakthrough in Joseph’s story, and God ultimately moving his entire family to Egypt to save them from the famine of the land, could not have actually happened if Joseph didn’t choose to forgive his brothers.  The fulfillment of God's plan was directly attached to Joseph choosing to be un-offended.  

….

You guys, the most beautiful prayer we can pray no matter how wounded we feel by someone is the words Jesus prayed for us, “Father forgive them.  They know not what they do.” When we see the person through Jesus' eyes, we can begin to see them above our pain and let God deal with them --not us.  He's the one who knows the person's true heart far more than we ever could.  He is the God of justice.  

I’d encourage you to ask the Lord to reveal to you if theres any offense in your life that you need to get rid of and hand over to him. 

I’m convinced there is massive blessing waiting for all of us on the other side of our pain.  

We got this!  Come on breakthrough!!!!!!!!

 

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Decision Making Made Easy (AKA...God is a Good Father)

Lately I’ve been in a time of making some pretty hard decisions.  And not just any decisions, but ones that involve my heart —my vulnerable and precious heart that I’ve sought so hard to protect.  

But heres what I’m learning, if God truly is a good father (which he is), then there’s absolutely no pressure to “get it right.” 

If our hearts are fully open and surrendered to Him, then even if we hear inaccurately and begin to pursue the wrong decision…don’t you think God is a good enough father to show us?  Think about it —no earthly father in a healthy parent/child relationship would tell his little girl the right way to live, and let her pursue the opposite of what’s good for her if her desire is to genuinely obey and listen to her father’s guidance.  At some point, the earthly father would gently show her the right way until she understood him correctly.

I’m convinced that God is too good of a father to let us hear inaccurately when our hearts are fully surrendered to what He is actually saying.  That is, unless hearing inaccurately is for our benefit. (I do think theres an exception when He lets us hear inaccurately for a season because He sees the greater good of our lives; but I personally think this is rare.  Often we think we heard something because our hearts aren’t actually willing to hear what He is saying).  

So from the foundation that GOD IS GOOD FATHER, we no longer have to fear decision making.  There's NO path we could take that God can’t redeem —or intervene

I believe decision making is less about “getting it right” and more about your heart.  

If your hearts right, I can promise you God’s got your back.  He will show you. 

 

"Sometimes our greatest war song is sung in the form of a lullaby."  So here's what I'm singing over myself....

No More Hiding

A couple of weeks ago I found myself reading a story I probably have read at least a hundred of times over the years.  Genesis 3, the story of Adam and Eve when they ate the fruit of the forbidden tree.  It’s the story that changed EVERYTHING on behalf of humanity (real cool…thanks Adam and Eve).  

I must admit, my spirit wasn’t exactly expectant to receive anything from it.  But this is what I do in the mornings.  Even when I’m not “feeling it.” I read…because I know I need it.

Little did I know God had a really sweet revelation in store for me. 

….

Before I began to read I prayed a simple prayer.  “God I want to feel your heart in this story.”  And that my friends, is what He did.

This was the verse that got me HARD… 

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”  

I’ll never forget stopping dead in my tracks after reading this verse.  I could no longer continue to read because my entire being began to weep on behalf of the Lord. I mean, I straight up wailed.  And it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Adam and Eve sinned —it had everything to do with the fact they hid from Him. I felt the Lord’s big daddy, protective heart in this moment scream “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!” on behalf of His children experiencing shame for the first time. 

I could feel His heart breaking for them.  Not because He was angry, but because all He ever wanted was to love and protect His kids and live in sweet connection with them as the Good Father He truly is.  

Picture this…

God’s original heart was that His children would learn how good of a father He is, and live in childlikeness and dependence with Him in the Garden apart from sin; and most importantly, the effects of sin. This was the first time since creation that connection was broken with Him.  This was the first time the Father experienced His kids (that He absolutely adored) hiding from Him...because they were afraid…and covered in shame.   

Think about it.  No good earthly father in a healthy parent/child interaction would EVER want His precious children to hide from Him.  A good father is safe to come to, even when His children have messed up.  

....

As I continued to read I had another revelation.  The first words out of the Lord’s mouth, after pursuing Adam and Eve out from their hiding was this:  “Who told you that you were naked?”  

Out of all the things God could have said, the first concern He had was dealing with their shame.  Not condemnation.  Not punishment. 

No….his protective heart went straight to the hiding in shame.  

WOW.  I’m undone.

My entire life I read this story and only saw the punishment because of the first sin committed in this world.  Never….ever…did I see the sweet and kind heart of the Father —who never EVER wanted His kids to experience the effects of sin.  

….

I’m convinced that hiding from God breaks God’s heart far more than any sin we could ever commit. God’s heart is for connection.  That's why He sent Jesus to break the power of sin so we could unashamedly dwell with Him in His presence!  

Shame is 100% of the enemy.  It is never of God.

I can promise you, the big daddy heart I’ve experienced from Him even in the midst of my rebellion is the most powerful thing I’ve experienced in my life. I let Him in on the good, the bad, the ugly...and He loved me through it.  

No more hiding people.  Let Him in :) He's safe.  I promise.  

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5

 

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God Said It --And it WILL be done

Today I awoke with a burning conviction —the conviction that says, “God said it --and it WILL be done.”  And though the dreams and promises of my life seem like nothing but a distant reality, suddenly my perspective began to shift.  This too, is but a moment.  This too, shall pass.  AND I, get the option of prophetically living in the fulfillment of His promises —even when they’ve yet to happen in the natural.  

There’s a part in the bible that trips me up every time I read it.  I don’t know about you, but there are certain things in the bible that stir me up where I’m like...BUT GODDDDD…I need the details!!!!!!  

But nope, nothing…

The part I’m specifically referencing is when Abraham got his wife's servant pregnant and she gave birth to Ishmael when he was 86 years old.  At this point, God had already made a covenant with Abraham that his descendants would outnumber the stars in the sky (Genesis 15) —but yet, Abraham did not patiently wait and got another woman pregnant in order to manipulate the fulfillment of the promise.  However, the bible in ONE VERSE goes from Abraham being 86 years old —all the way to him being 99 years old when God appears to Him again to let Him know His wife will become pregnant with their first child.  

And I’m like WHATTTTT?????  God what about the 13 years of day-to-day waiting???????  

Seriously, every time I read this I have so many questions.  What about the daily process of choosing to believe?  Did Abraham doubt?  Was He angry at God?  Did he cry out to him?  I mean, obviously he doubted considering he got another woman pregnant… but I read this every time in a whirlwind of questions that ultimately come down to this —what about the daily process of choosing to believe in the midst of the 13 years of waiting?   

My question is this —what if we believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that God said it, and it will happen?  What if we lived with a deep conviction of the sovereignty of God and had a greater awareness for eternity and the unseen realm then our awareness of the circumstances in the natural?  

I’m convinced our daily behaviors and thought-life would DRASTICALLY change; that is, If we decided to live in the prophetic fulfillment of God’s promises before they even take place in the natural.  If we lived from an eternal perspective, recognizing that God is sovereign and all His promises are “Yes and Amen,” there would be a lot less doubting.  In fact, maybe none at all.  

James 1: 6-8 “The one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” 

Today I’ve decided I’m going to prophetically live in the fulfillment of His promises.  No more doubting.  No more listening to the enemy's voice.  

God said it --So let it be done.  

Out-Of-Control (and loving it)

Originally I set out to write two different blogs….

One, being the idea of finding peace when you feel “out of control.”  

Two, learning how to not be a victim to circumstance.  

It didn’t take long for me to recognize these two subjects are practically interchangeable.  And I’m sure it comes to no surprise to those of you who have read my blog posts over the past year, but unfortunately, I am currently learning these two lessons —HARD.  (And quite frankly, I’m kind of over it…but clearly God is not…so I’ll choose to keep digging for all the gold to be found in this season until He lifts it.)  

For those of you who are wired anything like me (and the majority of modern day society), we cannot stand the feeling of being “out of control;” so we’ve developed all these behaviors, whether conscious or subconscious, that help us cope when we feel this way.  Often when you look at the roots of most addictions (i.e. pornography, eating disorders, drugs, alcohol, nicotine, Netflix, shopping, etc..) the origins have absolutely nothing to do with the actual behavior.  It has everything to do with people experiencing chaos in their lives and as a result they develop specific behaviors to make them feel powerful again —whether they’re aware of it or not.  

Many people are left trying to overcome the symptoms—having absolutely no idea why they actually do what they do.   

I know for me, this reality has described a major portion of my life.  And though the behaviors fluctuated over the years, the core of the issue never did.  When I felt powerless, a victim to circumstance, and out-of-control, all bets were off the table.  I would go do whatever I felt. 

Eventually I would come to the Lord and find rest, but he was never my first option. 

(Clearly, that had/has to change in me…but it’s a lot easier said than done.  It’s a daily decision.)

My question for you is this:  What do you do when you feel out of control?  

How do you respond when your life feels in chaos?  

Your coping skills might not be a deliberate sin, but I can assure you if you’re not turning to God you’re turning to something….whether you realize it or not.  

Currently, every single area of my life feels completely out of my control.  I’ve written about this in more detail in previous blog posts (so I’ll save you all my complaints) but this is the first time in my life when fear has tempted me to agree with it.  And honestly, some days I do.  Some days I fail the test of my trust in the Lord.  Some days I shut down and decide to numb.

Thankfully, the Lord is too sweet to let me stay there.  He has made it pretty clear that this season is not going to end in my life until I find all the treasure He has for me, and pretty much all the treasure lies in this verse:  “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”  (Isaiah 26:3).  

God is teaching me a supernatural reality that very few humans ever access in their lifetime.  Far beyond what the doctors, and theories, and what humanity says —internal chaos, anxiousness, and worry do not have to exist within me.  I, in fact, can sleep in storms much like Jesus did.  When Jesus slept in a storm, He was giving us a prophetic picture of what a life of faith in God looked like.  

It looks like **perfect peace.  

It looks like a sound mind. 

It looks like joy beyond circumstance.  

What if we as believers actually began to access another realm?  That far beyond the diagnosis, relational pain, emotional pain, physical pain, or any other circumstance we face in this lifetime, we chose to curl up in the fortress of the Lord and NOT ever lose our peace again? 

King David is a beautiful example of this.  Though death surrounded him; though he spent many years running from a jealous man, and as a result armies were trying to kill him, David would constantly say, “I will lie asleep tonight in peace because my God is with me.”  

Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.”  

You guys, my encouragement for you is to fight.  Fight for peace.  Guard your joy.  And STAND your ground.  Running to God FIRST is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever experienced.  

He is so faithful to meet you.  But you have to be willing to come, even in the midst of the discomfort, even in the midst of the waiting.  He will come I promise.  And He is so so worth it.

Now heres a few phrases I’ve been singing over and over in my morning times <3.

Prevention From Cancer --It's Far More Than What You Eat

A couple of weeks ago I had an extremely foreign thought race through my head.  Up until this point, I guess I subconsciously thought of my self as “indestructible.” 

What if I ever got diagnosed with cancer?  I thought to myself.  

More specifically, this thought was in regards to breast cancer.  After hearing of yet another young woman receiving the dreaded news of having a cancerous lump in her breast, I guess it finally occurred to me that, I too, could shockingly receive this news at any point in my life.  

It didn’t take long though for the Holy Spirit’s voice to interrupt my vicious, abnormally fearful thoughts.

Janae, No!  Holy Spirit said.

Haven’t you learned anything I’ve taught you these past few years?

The Lord quickly brought me back to reality.  And though some of you are probably already reading this thinking, ”Oh no, does she actually believe that her reality is that she’ll never get diagnosed with cancer?!”  Honestly, I don’t know.  But what I do know is what I’ve learned.  I’ve learned A LOT about prevention.  And if there's one passion I desire to completely immerse myself in for the rest of my life, it’s this:  I long to see an entire generation emotionally and spiritually healthy.  And out of this reality, the physical health will follow…I’m convinced.  

.....

After working at an inner-healing ministry for just a few short years, I want to share with you 2 major revelations that I’ve learned.  My prayer is that you would take this back before the Lord and sort through this with Him.  My prayer is that He would show you if there's any area in your own life that needs healing and He would reveal His heart towards living in the freedom He made available when Jesus died and defeated sin and death!

1.  It’s a lot easier to keep sickness out then to try to get it out after it has manifested.

Prevention, is a lot easier than reaction and recovery.  And though Jesus died on the cross 2000 years ago to pay for not only our sins but also our illnesses (and God can heal ANYONE from ANYTHING), I believe that prevention is the ultimate goal of the Kingdom.  The goal is that God would not only heal, but then we would break the cycle of trauma so there would not even be a need for a recovery process.  This is called “Kingdom Come.”  Theres no trauma in Heaven!  So I believe our mandate as the church is to seek that trauma no longer exists here on earth!  

This is why the process of inner-healing is so important. If this generation proactively sought their healing emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically BEFORE there was a crisis and it became “reactionary,” we would probably see a lot less people suffering physically. Not to mention, these people will be breaking off the cycles of darkness and trauma over their own lives, and we could see an entire new generation arise that no longer needs the recovery process; that is, because their parents decided to break these cycles off their family lines once and for all!  

Call me an idealist, but I believe we have not even come close to accessing what “Kingdom come” truly looks like.  

So what is inner-healing?  

The desire of inner-healing prayer is that people would be taken before the Lord (who ultimately knows everything inside of them, far beyond what they could ever know of themselves) and have Him illuminate areas within their lives that darkness has been permitted to take root.  From what I've experienced (even after one's salvation), many people still have a need to forgive those who have wronged them, and they have a need to heal from any areas of pain and trauma within their lives. I like to believe this is a part of the process of sanctification.  We are whole --however, we are still being made whole too. The good news is at salvation we receive Jesus, and with Him we can face ANY area of our lives filled with shame, darkness, pain, etc..  From his foundation of safety, we can invite His love and peace to fill all those memories, enable us to forgive, and finally heal.    

2.  Forgiveness is a major key to prevention.  

From my personal observations (among many other researchers), I've often witnessed a direct correlation between people who have been diagnosed with cancer and unforgiveness.  And let me preface this by saying, there is no condemnation for those of you who have been diagnosed with cancer or struggle with any illness.  Most of the time, people have been deeply wronged and they long to forgive but do not even know how or what this looks like practically; which is why inner-healing is so important.  Because even if there's pain and bitterness inside someone unbeknownst to the person, eventually the Lord will reveal this him or her in prayer so the person can walk through the process of releasing that offense over to Him!  

True story, one of the prayer ministers at my work led a guy (who had been diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer) through ONE prayer session where the guy realized how hurt and angry he still was by his father.  This man decided to get in touch with all the suppressed pain within him so he could truly forgive his dad and release him over to God.  Ever since he forgave and blessed his father, this man's process of defeating cancer was turned around.  He came in with a death diagnosis spoken over his life, and now he has been completely cancer free for over a year.  COME ON! 

....

The sad, unfortunate reality is that unforgiveness can completely demolish you.  Personally, I’ve watched some very close relatives manifest some ugly, life-threatening illnesses that eventually revealed all of their suppressed anger and bitterness they had never given permission to surface.  Not to mention, all the people who have come in to my work seeking physical healing, only to find out hear traumatic life-stories!  When I hear these stories I find myself thinking, “Well no duh they’re sick.  Their body couldn’t take the pain and bitterness anymore so it manifested itself physically.”  

The problem is, often times we tell ourselves we have forgiven someone when in all actuality we have not —mostly because we don’t even know how, or what this looks like practically.  

Forgiveness is one of the most misunderstood concepts in my opinion.  This is why Jesus says in Matthew 18 to “Forgive from the heart.” 

Key words:  Forgive ***from the heart.

So what is real forgiveness you might ask?

Well for starters, forgiveness has absolutely nothing to do with the other person.  It never condones what the person did.  It actually has everything to do with you —and your own well-being.  

Simply put, forgiveness is letting go of the infectious poison caused by offense within you, giving it over to the Lord, and stepping into an act of trust to believe that God sees, God knows, and He will take care of it —because He is the God of justice! I always imagine the moment people truly forgive (not just from their heads but from their hearts) it is like they are inviting God to put his hand deep inside of them and uproot every bad, unhealthy seed that has been planted within them, so they can begin to spring forth good fruit in their lives once again.  

It’s also important to not, we do not just forgive for the ways we have been wronged, but we forgive for unfulfilled expectations as well. If there’s a source of pain in your heart —whether you were wronged by someone or you were let-down and disappointed —there’s a need to forgive.

I’d highly suggest watching my coworker’s video he posted on youtube (which I will include at the end of this blog) to watch the method we use to help people forgive.

Essentially, it's important to get in touch will all the suppressed emotions, anger, and thoughts you might have towards this person.  It’s then important to out-loud purge whatever words come to mind that you might need to say. Preferably you’d picture the person in your imagination, but not actually say this to their face...saying it to one's face can be damaging at times!  Purging out your emotions can be by yourself, or with a safe person.  But the point is, whatever is in you needs to get out.  You can curse, scream, name call….I don’t care.  Just get it out!

And then you speak out “I forgive you for_______.”  Don’t be afraid to get specific. 

And lastly, “I bless you with ________.”  

In my opinion, the blessing is when the relief comes into play.

….

You guys, I long to see an entire region cancer free.  We’ve been praying for this at my work, and I cannot ignore the vitality of proactively getting healthy emotionally and spiritually!  

We can beat cancer and illness HEAD ON.  The question is, are you willing to put in the front work…that is…before there's a crisis?  

I’m convinced we can see a lot more lives live in a healthy prevention state and never have to face the ugly disease.  I absolutely HATE cancer.  I hate sickness.  

I want to see us go after this head on.  

Ya'll ready?  

Come on Jesus!!!!!!!!

The One Thing that Cannot be Taken Away

“Martha came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”  -Luke 10: 40-42

A couple of months ago I read this passage and found myself unusually pondering it.  Sure, I’ve read it before and I’ve heard the story of Mary and Martha told numerous times, but this time around was different.  It was like God was priming me to be taken into a head-meets-the-heart (but yet not-so-fun) kind of revelation. The Lord knew I needed the foundation of this truth to be what propelled me into the next season He was planning to take me through.  He knew I wouldn’t have made it without a deep conviction of this reality to carry me through.  

The truth is…nothing in this world is guaranteed.  

No person. no place. no job. no romance. no family. no marriage. no church. no substance...

Nothing.  

At any moment it can be taken away.  

And as Martha complained to Jesus about Mary doing “nothing” but sitting at His feet, Jesus looked at her and spoke a truth that I pray will strike me to my core for the rest of my life…

Jesus says, “Martha, Mary has found me…she has found my presence.  And this is the one thing that cannot be taken away from her.”  

….

Coming from someone who is not only experiencing a cold reality check in my own life of watching my entire life be uprooted, I’ve also been watching countless people who come in for prayer at my job experience the same exact thing. 

For me personally, the things I’ve subconsciously found so much of my identity in for years, God has allowed to be stripped away.  Worship leading, teaching, much of my social life, living in a house with seven girls….the list could could go on and on.  All these things are not present in my life right now, and on a daily basis I continuously feel the Lord asking me, “Okay Janae, who are you?  Apart from those things…who do you say that you are? And where does your hope lie?”  

And every day, no matter how hard I have to fight to believe that this season will not last forever, I look at the Lord and say “Jesus, I’m a lover of you. That’s who I am. And I don’t ever want to be defined by anything else.”  

I'm recurrently learning that finding my hope, identity, and safety in Him is the only thing that is truly unshakeable. 

…..

Deeply placed inside of the core of every human being lies the need to feel safe. And though we often try to fill this need with other things, God is the only place of refuge that will never be shaken.  

When we recognize that the presence of the Lord is our one place of safety that will not be taken away from us, we can fight any battle from inside His fortress.  We can finally risk to open up our hearts, step into vulnerability, chase our dreams, fall in love, recover from loss and trauma, learn to trust at the risk of disappointment….all of these things are not so scary anymore when we find our foundation of safety in Him —the one thing that CANNOT…WILL NOT…be taken away.  

So today, though my flesh screams “CURL UP IN YOUR CAVE OF FEAR," I’m going to choose to trust. 

Today, in His fortress where I will not be shaken, I’ll choose to step out of my walls of fear and live in the sweet recognition that I have found Him.  And He is unshakeable.  

Bye Bye Fear.  

And yes, this song will be on repeat for a very very long time.  

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Hey YOU! Lighten Up A Little

A couple of days ago, as I found myself once again rolling over on the floor DYING laughing until I found it hard to breath, I had an epiphany.  For those of you who have spent even a short amount of time with me, you know one thing —I have the most obnoxious laugh.  And once you get me started, it takes me a serious amount of effort to stop.  

This is me.  

I’ve been this way ever since I can remember.  

So a few days ago, as my coworkers were staring at me probably wondering how the heck I could be laughing SO HARD for SO LONG, I began to ask myself a question…

What exactly is it — specifically in me —that has the ability to laugh and experience joy in extreme measures?  

And though I probably have multiple psychological answers as to why this is true (starting with the obvious factor of having an abnormally nurturing and healthy childhood), I must say Holy Spirit answered this question far louder than my logical explanation.

"Janae, you have a call on your life to call people back into pleasure with me.” 

Honestly I’ve known this for a while now, but God once again confirmed to me that my laugh is anointed. It might sound crazy, but Holy spirit is in the business of settin’ people free —and He uses people and laughter to do just that.

....

This revelation has led me even deeper on a journey of asking the Lord about childlikeness.  God, what does it ACTUALLY mean to be childlike?  What do you mean when you say we must become like little children in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

And though we could probably spend the rest of our lives discovering the depths of childlikeness before God —I want to briefly discuss pleasure and play.  Because if there's one conclusion we all can make about children, it’s that kids have one thing on their mind at just about all times...seeking pleasure, laughter, and play in every decision they make! 

… 

I realize when looking at this statement “seeking pleasure, laughter and play in every decision” in all of our perceptions of maturity and adulthood, we look at this and think it screams “IRRESPONSIBILITY!!!”  

But WHAT IF…that’s NOT actually true?  

WHAT IF seeking pleasure, laughter, and play —with the Holy Spirit leading us —was actually the way we were called to live?  

WHAT IF there was a healthy version of this lifestyle when under submission to the Lord’s leading?  

Personally, I’d like to propose to you that there is.  

I by no means want to condone irresponsibility and I’m definitely not saying life is supposed to easy at all times, but God is the author of laughter and pleasure and we were created in His image! The problem is, the enemy is out to steal, kill, and destroy our ability to experience these things.  He's out to steal our joy and suck the fun out of every believer in order keep them bound in religious heaviness; the kind of heaviness that tells us we need to “work, work, work” and make life happen for God.  LIES.  That’s a fast track to burnout. 

Even just the other day, in all of my desires to be childlike, I had a vision of Jesus looking at me saying “JANAE STOP!  Stop trying to make life happen!!!! LIGHTEN UP A LITTLE!!!”  Because I had quickly gotten caught back in that stupid performance trap. It's far too easy to do if we're not aware of it.  

The good news is…the devil has been exposed!  

Once we understand exactly what Christ did for us and what being “covered in the blood” actually means,  we are set free to spend our lives in radical thankfulness, celebration, laughter, and FREEDOM (no matter our circumstances)!  We no longer have to perform for God.  We longer have to “make a movement” for God. And we actually…under the realm of unconditional love…are free to FAIL!!!  Because failure is no longer what we fear now that we are children of God who are loved without conditions.

Can you imagine if the church was known for their laughter?!  I don't know one person who doesn't like having me around them when I find them funny.  And I cannot tell you how many people simply reach out to me because they are in need of laughter or in need of a good time.  Well, what if the lost knew they could reach out to Christians if they were in need of joy?  Or having a fun time?

WOAH.  Game Changer my friends!!!

We'd start seeing people running to the Church to find Jesus.  

You guys, far too often I sit in appointments looking at Christian individuals who have absolutely NO joy.  And their hearts are beautiful and pure, but they’re trapped in religiousness. They're stuck in the idea of finding a destination, or the mentality of "When am I ever going to get this right?!"  Well, guess what.  Here on earth you are in a process of healing...but sin and imperfections have already been defeated at the cross.  

So my suggestion is, LIGHTEN UP A LITTLE! :) 

....

If you're reading this and finding yourself stuck in this trap….I have a challenge for you this week.

With the help and communication of the Holy Spirit, begin to ask yourself in every decision you make:  How can I seek HOLY pleasure, laughter, and play today?  I’m convinced when we start simply communing with Holy Spirit and making pleasure and joy with Jesus our one thing —He propels us into ministry. (And no, this doesn't mean you have to have "quiet time" all day.  That's stupid religiousness too.  Go do your life!  Have fun!  And bring His pleasure and joy with you everywhere you go!

Because it’s not up to us to make life happen.  

All we got to do is look to Him and obey! He's a lot more fun than you think :)  

Actually, He's hilarious.  For real. 

xoxo

 

 

 

Two Reasons You Might Continually Be Finding Yourself Depressed

Working with people on a daily basis over the past few years has led me to a few major revelations in regards to the influence of depression.  I realize there are many other contributing factors to the struggle of depression, but I’ve found there are two main things that are blatantly obvious to the triggering of it.  And although many people might find these to be common sense, I must say it’s become increasingly obvious that this is not common knowledge to the average person…by any means!

I want to take a moment to briefly point these out…in hopes that if you are one who is struggling with a lingering depression (having no clue why) this might bring clarity and challenge you to step into seeking healing.

1.  Suppressed Disappointment

I cannot tell you how many sessions I have spent with people who absolutely refuse to admit to themselves the disappointment they feel towards their lives.  Consequently, we spend countless sessions chasing the roots behind the symptoms for weeks on end, but because they refuse to admit that they’re outright disappointed with certain things that have happened in their lives, they never experience breakthrough.  

Just the other day I had a session with a woman whom I’ve been meeting with for 6 months…who is CLEARLY not happy with her life but will not admit it.  So her issues manifest through severe anxiety and chasing person after person to fill her voids.  

Finally, a couple sessions ago this woman admitted out loud,“You know what God...I’m angry.  I’m angry the way my life has turned out to be. I'm angry I’m not married.  I hate my job.  I feel like I don’t have friends.  And the friends I do have seem to care less about my life!”  (In my head I was shouting for joy thinking “PRIASE THE LORD WE CAN ACTUALLY GET SOMEWHERE!”).  

The first step to healing is actually admitting what is going on inside of you —without judging it.  We like to justify why we feel what we feel; but the truth is if you’re disappointed in something you NEED to acknowledge it…without trying to finagle your way out the emotion before it takes its course!  

So my question for you is this…

If you struggle with a lingering depression, what are you disappointed in that has yet to be acknowledged?

This could be a sense of loss in your life. It could be your current or past circumstances. Or it could be unfulfilled expectations. Whatever it is, give yourself permission to actually admit it!  

2.  Lack of Community

The importance of a healthy sense of community in EVERY individual's life cannot be stressed enough.  Every part of your being was created for intimacy —with God and others.  If there is not a healthy sense of belonging within your life by people (that goes far beyond surface level hang outs), there is a very high chance you probably struggle with depression.  

Jim Wilder, who wrote the Life Model Theory, talks about the core emotion of joy being purely based on relational factors.  When you look at the beginning stages of life, infants grow (or deplete) in joy through relationship to their mommies and daddies starting from day one.  In order for infants to remain in joy, they need to be receiving non-verbal or verbal messages from their primary caregivers that say, “these people want to be with me.”  This is how humanity was created by God to function and it does not change after childhood!  This reality is just as critical within adulthood.  

In order to live in the wholeness you were created for, you need a few solid people (and a relationship with God) in your life where you can completely be yourself, let your hair down, and rest in a sense of safety and connection.  Apart from this, you will continue to hit a wall in regards to your healing.  

I realize finding a healthy sense of community is a lot easier said than done; however, I truly believe that if you begin acknowledging your need for people and a place to belong, God will bring them to you in due time!  

So my question for you is this…

In what ways are you proactively seeking a healthy sense of community within your life on a daily basis?  

My suggestions:

  • Acknowledge your need for it  
  • Begin honestly admitting this before the Lord, and asking Him for it!
  • Find a church (no matter how messed up they can be at times, you need the body of Christ!)
  • Go to the gym (lots of good people to meet there!)
  • Get off Netflix and social media and show up where the real life people are!

 

Love You All!!!!!!!!!!! You can do this.  And feel free to reach out to me if you are in need of prayer.  Blessings. 

My Food is to do the will of My Father

“My Food is to do the will of Him who sent me” (John 4:34).  

For those of you who are anything like me, you probably find yourself laughing with (or at) Jesus when He turns to His disciples, after they were urging Him to eat something, and tells them “My food…is to do the will of my Father.” 

Leave it up to Jesus to always be throwing us for a loop, defying the laws of nature, and introducing us to this inside-upside-down supernatural Kingdom —that our minds couldn’t even begin to comprehend (just in case you’re wondering the commentary of Janae as she reads the bible…).  

Jesus introduces us to the reality that our source CANNOT come from bread alone, but off of God Himself and taking part of His will so that what He started will come to completion.

I don’t know about you…but I have found myself over the years asking the Lord what Jesus is really talking about here.  A few years back, God gave me a revelation that I would like to share.  

….

Back in 2013 there was a conference in Orlando that a few of my friends and I attended.  Specifically, we heard about this lady named Heidi Baker coming to speak.  If any of you don’t know who Heidi Baker is, let me just tell you.  

Heidi is crazy —in the best way possible. I often find myself mesmerized at her in amazement as she worships.  She is so in love that (quite frankly) I have caught myself staring at her wondering if I even know God. Not that I don’t think I could ever be that in love with Him, but for those of you who have seen her speak, you know what I’m talking about.  Her way of speaking is getting on her knees and crying out to God as she takes every person in the room before His presence in a way they’ve probably never been before.  Not to mention, Heidi has a ministry in Mozambique where just about every deaf person she has prayed for has received their hearing.  She's a woman who could at this point in her life live luxuriously, but yet she chooses to burn with love for this nation and live amongst them in the slumps. 

So back to the conference…

After about an hour and a half of worship, Heidi comes out to speak and sure enough gets right on her face before God and begins to lead people into a time of extended worship.  Eventually, people were falling on the floor getting delivered from demonic spirits, and radically encountering the Holy Spirit.  It truly was an experience I’ll never forget.  Heidi ended up not speaking, because something was happening in the room that couldn’t be explained.  Just about the only thing she did was read 2 Corinthians 3, which in itself will have you on the floor in worship because it’s so powerful.

So heres where my part of the story comes in…

After about 3 hours of being at this conference, I must say at that point I had completely checked out.  Many of my friends were encountering the Lord, however, I found myself thinking about three things:  

When is my ride leaving? I need to pee.  And if I don’t eat food RIGHT NOW I think I might starve to death.  

Just being honest over here people…

This was right about the time that Heidi walked off stage, only to make sure we had permission to stay in the building as long as we needed.  Heidi then came back on stage and said, “You guys, we’re not leaving here until every person gets prayed for and encounters the Lord” as she began to walk into the crowd of people and minister to every person she walked by.  And ALL I could think about in that moment was …”God, how the heck does she do it?  How does she choose to be so present with people and You, that the last thing on her mind is her physical needs?”  

Heidi has obviously COMPLETELY died to herself.  And as much as I wanted that to be true for myself, I didn’t understand how that could ever fully be a reality for me.  It felt so unattainable.  

That is…until a few weeks later when God answered my question loud and clear.

…..

A couple weeks later after the conference, I got a phone call from my mom asking me to go pray with her over a distant cousin who had recently been diagnosed with cancer.  This boy was 17 years old and had been given a short time to live.  When she asked me to go with her to pray, my answer was “of course!”  However, deep in my heart it honestly felt extremely vulnerable to go pray over someone in FULL faith believing they will be healed, when I knew that if God didn’t actually show up then nothing was going to happen.  

Praying over people with terminal illnesses is one of the quickest ways for you to recognize your desperate need for God.  Clearly, you cannot heal that person in your own strength. 

That day, as we walked into the hospital room and began to pray over this boy, something came over me.  The power of God himself came upon me as I began to recognize that it is GOD who heals —not me.  It humbled me…and hungered me for the things of Heaven.  It reminded me of the verse in Matthew 5 when Jesus says, “Blessed are those who are poor in spirit and recognize their need for God —for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs!” When we recognize our total dependence upon him, God pours His Kingdom upon us. Which by the way, the boy we prayed for lived!  He is alive and well! YES LORD!!!!!!!!

That day as I walked back to my car from the hospital room, I began to drive to work and listen to worship music.  Let me just say, I’ll NEVER forget the worship experience I had as I was driving.  

Something came over me as I started to sing; which led me to laughing, and crying, and then shouting "HALLELUJAH THANK YOU GOD!!" A hunger within me that had not been awake in a very long time began to arise again, as the things that were dead in me were being brought back to life.  

And then BAM!! Revelation came flooding into my spirit as the Lord took me back to the conference with Heidi Baker…

I felt Holy Spirit say, “Janae, this is how Heidi does it.  Her food is to do My will.  She spends her entire life praying over people in Mozambique and seeing my Kingdom come in these people’s lives.  And the more she does it, the more she wants it! This is what she craves.”       

……

You guys, it is Heidi’s overflowing joy to lay her life down before people on a daily basis and see them encounter the Lord —this is her new nourishment. And this reality is what we're all called to now that Jesus has handed us the keys to the Kingdom!  When we boldly step into this Kingdom lifestyle, we can retrain ourselves to find our source of joy and strength through Him and completing His work here on earth..over anything else in the natural! (Disclaimer: I realize theres another side to this as well. It is important take care of yourself, so please don't think I'm saying that by any means!)

My encouragement for you is this...make a commitment this week to start asking the Lord, “God, what steps can I take to begin partaking in Your will here on earth?” 

And I can assure you, this does not mean getting caught up and busy in (meaningless) church work.  

I know for me, the Lord gives me practical steps, but it also requires attuning to Him everywhere I go. God will lead you in releasing His Kingdom.  He will lead you to the orphans, and the widows, and loving the unloved, and healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, etc..(which is what it says to be His will ALL throughout Scripture).  

So whose with me?  Whose ready to feed off something far greater than anything in the natural could ever satisfy?  And yes, I'm currently preaching to myself as well.  This is a lot easier said than done, but WE CAN DO THIS!   

I believe in you (and me).

xoxo

Morning Songs

It's always been a dream of mine to have a blog that I not only share revelations through writing, but I also share my morning songs to Jesus.  

I've been singing these few phrases to the Lord lately.

He's the safest place I've ever known (no matter how many times I forget and find myself caught up in my circumstances).  The good news is there will never be a time where He won't be standing right in front of me --waiting to bring me back into His connection and peace.  

Made for Connection

Over the past few years of working at an inner-healing ministry and meeting with Christian individuals, I’ve increasingly become aware of a common theme within people’s lives.  Many individuals find themselves frustrated and angry at God that they’re not experiencing breakthrough in their lives (via finances, physical health, spiritual health, emotional stability, addictions, relationships, etc..); however when I ask them about their daily routines of seeking a relationship with the Lord, more-often-than-not these people admit to spending barely any time with Him —if any at all. (Honestly, most actually mistake my question by answering what kind of bible study they’re in, or small group, or the ways they volunteer at church, etc..)     

This continually breaks my heart.  

One lady I met with in particular, was a 79 year old lady (the sweetest lady you’ll ever meet) who confessed to me that she has spent YEARS trying to find “inner-healing” and breakthrough in her life from her childhood trauma, but has quite frankly only experienced the opposite.  She proceeded to tell me all the Christians she had met with to help her find a sense of peace and stability; however, when I asked her if any of these people had ever taken her before the Lord to connect with him, she couldn’t recall even one. She then admitted to attending church her entire life, but was always “feeling” on the outskirts of the Kingdom;   like God was everyone else’s father, but she was still the orphan looking at the family she always longed for (but wasn’t allowed in).  

[And for those of you whose hearts are melting right now, I feel you.  It was such an honor to have a lady sitting in front of me —50 years older than I am —humble herself before me and confess to feeling like she's never known the Lord.]

I think the part of her story that jerked me the most, was the fact that this lady has spent long days and countless years seeking healing, fighting off the “enemy,” looking for areas within her life that she needs deliverance, but never actually connecting with the healer himself —when EVERY PART of her being was created for connection with Him. 

And out of this connection, flows the radical freedom she's been searching for. 

Far too often people live their entire lives missing out on the one thing they were created for —which is God (and His manifest presence).  We seek all these things right in front of us (especially religious stuff) because we fall for the illusion that it will bring us freedom and joy, but we never experience the true satisfaction that is found in the person of Jesus; not reading the bible, not worship services, or church settings, or God’s people.  No, I’m talking the true satisfaction that can ONLY be found in Him.  Even Jesus tells the pharisees in John 5:39-40, “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life!” 

Every part of your being was created for God.  Not because of what you can get from Him, not because He brings freedom and breakthrough, not because of (whatever you fill in the blank); you were created for God —simply because He loves relationship and intimacy.

Finding pleasure and delighting in the sweetness of His presence is your soul’s true home.  

I’m convinced this is why David was a man after God’s own heart.  Nobody actually wants the kind of friend who just hangs out with them solely because of what they can get —which is why God’s favor was placed upon David’s life.  David sought God simply because he LOVED God.  He would spend hours upon hours ministering to the Lord, singing to Him, shouting to him, and declaring his love for all the world to see.  Which is why he was able to say (in my paraphrase), “Wow God, you truly do satisfy…better than the richest of feast, or the sweetest wine, or the approval of man!  Your love is better than life itself!”  

David encountered what everyone deeply longs for —whether they know it or not.  

I heard Eric Gilmore say something that wrecked me for days.  He started talking about the expression “Jesus, you’re beautiful” and said he had always wondered what people meant when they were saying this.  “Are they talking about His white hair?  Or His eyes of fire?  What are they actually meaning by telling Him He is beautiful?”  That is, until one day the Holy Spirit revealed to Eric the depths of this expression.  Eric said he realized that when we say “Jesus you’re beautiful” it’s because when our soul looks at Him it recognizes its true home.  So when we look to Jesus, our soul is being pulled like a magnet by the attractiveness of finding the place of we actually belong.  And out of that comes the fullness of the satisfaction and joy we’ve always longed for.  

I don’t know about you, but even writing that out, I’m still wrecked….

When we look to Jesus, His beauty is overwhelming.  Because we find our soul’s home.  

….

I realize at this point some of you are probably thinking, “Okay Okay...I know I need to connect with God, but how the heck do I actually connect with him?!” Well, for starters if you live in Orlando you should come do what we call “God encounters” at the Glennon House (wink wink).    

However, here’s my biggest encouragement.  .

The greatest decision I probably ever made in my life was deciding one thing...

To show up —every day —to spend intentional time with this invisible God who “apparently” satisfies. 

I made this decision 6 years ago and there is no turning back.  For a full year and a half I didn’t leave my house before I sat on my porch and hung out with Jesus, and it completely ruined me in the best way possible.  It started as a sacrifice, but quickly turned into an overwhelming joy.  Now my morning times with Him are the highlight of my day.  They sustain me.  And they overflow into the rest of my day as I leave my house.

Now I’m an addict of His presence.  

It doesn’t mean I’m perfect BY ANY MEANS.  It doesn’t mean I don’t struggle. It doesn’t mean I have complete breakthrough in every area of my life.  

However, it does mean I have a refuge; and I have found where I belong no matter what temptation or trial may come my way.  

It's like a marriage. The foundation of intimacy flows from the bedroom —emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. A covenantal relationship apart from intentional intimacy will leave both parties extremely dissatisfied and searching for it elsewhere.

I’d like to encourage you to show up.  Daily.  Simply to get to know Him.  I can promise you if you keep showing up (with no intentions other than growing your love), your sacrifice of time will eventually become your joy.  It’ll change your life. I promise. Just be patient and give it time.  He says, “If you seek me…you WILL find me.”  

Keep knocking my friends.  Keep showing up.  He will NOT let you down.  He's too much of a radical lover to ever do such a thing.  

I have a spontaneous song I've been singing to Jesus over and over, however I have not recorded it yet.  Heres a song off my first album that I sang to Jesus for a year thinking to myself "Yea...I'll definitely never play this for anyone. Too scandalous."  But then I did...=)

 

I'm not hungry for God anymore. How do I get hungry?

Have you ever found yourself thinking…“Man, I’m not actually hungry for God anymore…how do I get hungry?”  

Mmmhmm…you and me both.  

A while back I spoke on this concept at my church.  To my surprise, many people humbly admitted to being in this season —which is a place I find myself in fairly often.  

It’s far too easy to slip into the comfort of my 9 to 5 job, only to leave work with one goal in mind —seeking whatever pleasurable thing I’m desiring for that specific night.  Whether it’s good restaurants, good hangs with good people, Netflix and Hulu, gym classes, or indulging in whatever I’m craving, all these things are beautiful and BLESSED by God; however, when “indulging in whatever I’m craving” becomes what dictates my behavior, I have officially entered into a danger zone of complacency and mediocrity. 

And this my friends, IS NOT what we were created for.   

God continually brings me back to this verse when Paul says, “their God is their appetite.”

For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. -Philippians 3:18-19

WELL HELLO THERE MODERN DAY SOCIETY ^^^^^apparently worshipping your cravings is not just a 21st century thing.  

I’ve heard Bill Johnson say something a few times that continually hits me to my core. “You can always tell when children are sick because they’ve lost their appetite. It is not natural for humanity to live without a hunger.”  

We were created with an intrinsic design by God to be hungry.

Hunger is a sign of health —it’s our natural state.  

More-often-than-not we are hungering after something.  

The question is, what are you hungering for?  And what are you feeding off of?    

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this…but I’ve increasingly become aware that Jesus talked about food…A LOT. (i.e. I am the bread of life, my food is to do the will of my father, man cannot live off bread alone but off of every word that God speaks, come to me all who are hungry and thirsty, etc..).  I’ve always wondered why He would constantly use food as an analogy..that is until one day the Holy Spirit gave me this revelation.   

Jesus spoke straight to the appetites of humanity.  He had compassion on them because he knew their greatest desire was to be satisfied.  

They know what it’s like to be physically hungry, and they know what it's like to be filled after a satisfying meal.  They understand what its like to be so famished and willing to do just about anything to have that need met; they’ve also experienced the joy that comes after eating a luxurious (post-starvation) meal.  

I believe the Lord intentionally created us with the need for food so we could understand our desperate need for Him and His presence.  In the same way we need physical food here on earth, we need spiritual food —OR WE WILL DIE

"He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.”  -Deuteronomy 8: 3

My interpretation of this verse….He humbled you and let you have needs that you could not fill on your own.  He wanted to take you into a place of recognizing it’s not just the physical bread you are needing —what you’re really needing is Him.  

Our hunger, in the natural, gives us a tangible representation of our desperate need for God.

When you read the the bible starting in Genesis and ending in Revelation…you see the constant battle between humanity worshipping their physical desires and substances over their need for God. I.e. Read the story of the Israelites…especially Exodus 16.  I die laughing every time.  These people and their stubborn selves CLEARLY could not get the fact that God was trying to teach them total dependence upon him. These tangible things that we so desperately seek here on earth are quickly fading and do not satisfy —but we forget ALL THE TIME. 

Especially if we are not intentionally stewarding our hunger for God over the things of the earth…  

STEWARD YOUR HUNGER                 

I don’t know if it's specifically with my personality type (yes I’m an 8/Challenger on the Enneagram) but I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to settle for a mediocre life.  

We were made for more.  We were made for a life that is WILD and would blow our minds if we knew all the dreams God has for us —it’s ours for the taking.

The question is, are you willing to go after it?  DAILY?  

If your answer is yes, than I’d encourage you to continue reading….

If I am not hungry I intentionally induce a hunger…it's a daily decision that I am going to crave the things of God MORE than I crave the things of the earth.  I’ve compiled a list of things that make you hungry (spiritually speaking).  This list is a combination of my own personal revelations, but also things I have found in scripture.  

1.  FASTING

This is hands down one of the quickest ways to induce a hunger —physically and spiritually. On earth we make ourselves physically hungry in the natural, but Heaven recognizes this as an act of going towards spiritual hunger.  This is us starving the things of the flesh until our appetite for the glory of God outweighs our appetite for a tangible substance (read Luke 4: 2-4). I highly doubt when Luke says “Jesus was hungry” after not eating for forty days that he was only referring to a physical hunger…just sayin’!  

2.  DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER

I’ll probably write an entire blog on this one.  You can also go back and listen to the City Beautiful podcast when I told the story of Heidi Baker and the reality of praying for people with cancer.  When you’re “doing the will of the father” and facing the impossible, you quickly recognize your desperate need for Him.  The counterfeit version just won’t cut it!  

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. --John 4: 31-34 

3.  FEAST OFF THE WORDS OF GOD

Man cannot live off bread alone, but off every word that God speaks!

Feast off his already written word, but also the words He has spoken —and continues to speak.  Personally, I flip through old journals on a regular basis.  I meditate upon His promises…and thank Him for all that He has already said and done.  ESPECIALLY when I’m not hungry for Him. Thankfulness and remembering is critical when staying hungry for the more of God.  

4.  DO THE THINGS YOU DID AT FIRST 

It’s just like a marriage! Sometimes you need to rekindle what once was and revisit monumental moments and times in your life when you fell in love in hopes it’ll grow into something greater.  

You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. --Revelation 2: 4

Personally, I have a few places or things that I know specifically I can go back to and within moments reawaken my love.  [It may or may not involve ridiculous dancing and blasting music in my room.  Lots of laughing…that turns into crying, etc.]

5.  IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE PRESENCE OF HUNGRY PEOPLE

If you’re not hungry, go plant yourself in front of someone who is.  Hunger spurs on hunger.  And if no one is hungry in your life, I’d highly suggest finding out what God is doing in the world, listening to podcasts, and worshipping with people on Youtube.  It's pretty hard to be around people who are hungry for God and not catch the fire.  

Anyways, I love all you people.

GO GET HUNNGRYYYYY

AMEN

And heres the link to the podcast when I spoke on Hunger =) https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/form-hunger/id553257807?i=1000378962018&mt=2

 

 

Dear FOMO...You Do NOt Know Who My God IS

Dear FOMO,

You are the current epidemic of our generation….and you’ve been haunting me like the plague.  

For those of you who do not know what FOMO means, it stands for the fear of missing out. I like to personally thank social media and to all those who plaster their beautiful, flashy, and idealistic lives all over the internet that leave so many of us thirsting for a life that doesn’t actually exist (don't worry I do it too).  

...

This morning as I was laying in bed in a foggy daze, my mind began to replay my past 10 years.  And though I’m extremely fortunate enough to say this, I can’t help but admit these past 10 years have been the kind that seem a bit “too good to be true.”  I’ve crossed paths with world-changers.  I’ve traveled the world.  I’ve organically encountered the Holy Spirit in the midst of a group of people I will never forget.  I’ve encountered real community. Not just the kind talked about. No. We actually lived it.  I lived in a house with seven girls and four of them were with me for over six years.  Not to mention, I worked at the same restaurant for six years and all my work people quickly became my family.  

The list could go on and on.  

I have loved my life.  And I have loved my city.

So you’re probably wondering, where does FOMO come into play?

Over the past couple of years I’ve had just about everything come to an end.  My roommates and I moved out of the house we lived in.  The restaurant I worked at closed down.  Most of my community is spread out amongst different churches….and the friends I have done life with for years are beginning to enter into new seasons. The musicians I have led worship with for decades have families and many have left this city….

And quite frankly, I’m left with the question of “Have my glory days passed? Are things not ever going to be as good as they used to be?"  

Today especially...I laid in bed completely covered in fear.  I felt out-of-control wondering if things will ever be as good as they’ve been in the past.  

Thankfully, I'm well aware when fear has taken me over.  

It took every ounce of energy I had to do what I knew I needed to do.  But I did... 

I forced myself out of bed and turned on the worship songs that I have a history with.  You know...the kind I have stories with throughout the seasons when God pulled me out the pit and brought me back into His light.  

I began to declare the truth…whether or not I felt it. It didn't take long for me to start bursting out laughing.  The light began to seep in as I realized a heavy revelation.  

FOMO….does NOT know who my God is.  

MY GOD IS FAITHFUL.  

MY GOD SAYS I WILL GO FROM GLORY TO GLORY TO GLORY.

MY GOD SAYS MY BEST DAYS ARE YET TO COME.

Folks, it’s so good to fight your way through the lies.  

And for the those of you who are in the same boat as me currently, go play this spontaneous song over and over and tell your soul to believe this to be true.  Because it is true.  Our God is faithful. And your best days are yet to come.  

Dear Invisible God

Ever been in a season where you're flat out annoyed?  

Yep…welcome to my current world. 

My current life season is unlike anything I’ve experienced yet.   The past few years I’ve been through painful times and abundant times, but recently…I’ve been straight up annoyed.  

God is trying to teach me how to love Him more than ANYTHING else —more than a promise, more than a person, more than a dream —and it is extremely uncomfortable. He is also teaching me how to believe Him even when my circumstances scream the exact opposite of what He is declaring.  

I must admit, I’ve had more days of questioning and doubts the past few months than I've probably ever had in my life. 

But heres what I know…

This kind of season is where great faith is built.  This is where heroes in the faith learned to live with the conviction of the existence of this invisible God —the one they could not see or touch but yet they loved with their entire beings.   

And though the days of feeling peaceful and confident do not come without a fight, I know that I will see the Lord come through.  He always does.  

So for now I’ll keep choosing to believe.  

For now, I’ll keep thanking Him in advance. 

Bold faith stands on the shoulders of quiet trust
— Bill Johnson
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.
— 1 Peter 1:8

(And heres a spontaneous song I've been singing to the Lord this past week)  

Set Yourself Up to Succeed

A couple of years ago during my counseling internship, my supervisor taught me something I’ll never forget.  

One day, as we were sitting in her office for a weekly supervision meeting, I began to discuss with her one of my clients.  This client in particular was a 15 year old boy who kept finding himself in enormous amounts of trouble at the adolescent rehab I was working at.  Initially, he was sweet, seemingly innocent, and wanted help —but it didn’t take long for him to start messing up.  And the more he messed up, the more he hated himself and everyone around him.  

Which made the problem even worse.  

At this point in the conversation, I was telling my supervisor that I was stumped.  I had absolutely no idea what to do with him in our sessions; especially considering he was in total defeat-mode. There was nothing I could encourage him to do that would give him hope to try again. Basically the only thing he could find himself thinking at this point was “I suck…I’ll never get out of here…I guess I’m a failure, etc.”   

That day though, my supervisor said something profound.

She looked at me and said, “Hmm….sounds like he needs some success in his life.”  

“What do you mean?”  I asked.  Internally thinking….well no duh. What do you think we’ve been trying to do this entire time?  

“What is he good at?  What does he like to do?” She asked.

“Umm…he likes basketball and track?  That’s literally the only thing he likes…trust me I’ve asked numerous times.”   

“Great…start to run with him in your sessions.”   

“Wait…really?” I asked.

“Yeah, set mini goals with him every week.  Your only task for him is to help him set a goal he can successfully achieve on a weekly basis.”  

For real?! (I thought to myself)  

Counsel this boy by making running goals?  This isn’t P.E.  This is counseling!  

That day I walked out of her office perplexed.

To my amazement, my client responded extremely well.  Within moments of us running together, something shifted in him.  All of the sudden, he was reminded of what he was good at.  And even a tiny victory such as setting a goal in an area that he was capable of achieving, quickly began to shift his mentality back into a healthy perspective.  Instead of keeping his eyes on this massive destination of completing the program, he learned how to celebrate the little successes in between which gave him endurance to continue on.  

Accomplishing tiny victories with my client was probably the most profound thing my supervisor ever taught me.  

The truth is, far too many of us make goals for ourselves that are unrealistic.  We go back and forth between extremes and we never experience the success we’ve been chasing—leaving us feeling defeated and often giving up.      

For my client, all he could focus on was the uphill battle of completing the program.  However, when he learned how to set tiny goals for himself in his treatment program and experience success in the day-to-day, he was empowered to achieve his greater destination.  

Personally, this has been a major battle for me in regards to food (up until the past couple of years).  I would either be ALL IN or ALL OUT with eating clean; and after multiple unsuccessful diets, I began to finally realize this mentality doesn’t work. 

Now days, I have learned how to set myself up to succeed.  

For me this look like asking myself the question “What's realistic?  What can I expect out of myself that is actually attainable?”  Setting myself up to succeed means no more extreme dieting or unattainable goals; setting myself up to succeed means celebrating the journey —and the little day-to-day victories along the way.  

I think that's the only reason why exercising in my life has been successful.  

For the past 5 years I have worked out about 5-6 days a week consistently.  And though most people assume my workouts mean I’m drenched in sweat and can barely walk the next day —let me expose that assumption real quick!   

Heres what I expect of myself when I exercise: 

I show up…and do something…preferably 5-6 days a week. 

Some days this means working out for 15 minutes.  Other days this means pushing myself hard for an hour. But what I personally value here is consistency. That's it!  Having some extreme and unattainable body image in my head that I’m trying to achieve has never driven me to succeed (trust me…I’ve tried that before and all it does is drive me into defeat).  

Consistency is what I have found to be realistic and attainable for me. And celebrating the day-to-do "when I show up" victories...are what keep me out of a place of defeat. 

Individuals are wired uniquely however.  So this might look different for every person.  In order to set yourself up to succeed, it's important to ask yourself what is realistic.  It’s also important to learn how to make small goals and experience victories in the midst of a desired destination.  

I've heard Kris Vallotton equate this concept to the game of football.  

Football celebrates not just the touch-downs, but the first-downs, second-downs, and the yards in between. Football celebrates the little successes on the way to the greater destination and victory.  

Friends, I believe in you!  You can do this!

And for those of you who are wondering what this looks like practically, here's a helpful tool I used to use with my clients!  

                           SETTING SMART/REALISTIC GOALS

S- specific 

M - measurable

A - attainable

R - realistic

T - time oriented

Ex:  I will run 1 mile 3 to 5 times a week over the next month.  

Specific -running

Measurable - 3 to 5 times a week

Attainable - is running a mile something you can attain?  Maybe start at half a mile!

Realistic - Is it realistic to expect 3 to 5 days a week?

Time - over the next month.