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Hold my hand

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We were out walking and climbing on some rocks last week south of Fort Worth, TX last week.  No – this picture is not us and the rocks weren’t that big….although that would have been fun!!

Here we were – 4 kids with wide eyes, ready to jump, slide, and get really wet in the river running through the huge boulders.  My older kids took off with confidence, but the younger two were a bit more cautious.  I let my 4 year old experiment a bit and I could sense there was some panic in her. She tried to take a step, but she looked down and soon wanted me to hold her hand again.  She eventually realized she could do it without falling, and she gained some serious confidence!!  My 2 year old didn’t even want to climb up or walk on the rocks, until she had my hand grasped tightly in mine.   She only wanted to walk with my help.

As simple as this is, I couldn’t help but realize God was teaching me a very important lesson that day.  Each of the ways in which my kids reacted to the rocks,  was a clear picture of how I often react to life.

Sometimes I just jump right in – not really sure of the danger or blessings….I just jump all in.

Sometimes I experiment a little bit to see the level of danger. I may try it on my own, and soon realize that I really do need help!

But how I WANT to live my life is more like my 2 year old.  I want to know that I can’t make it through this life without God’s help in holding my hand.  Being aware that He can and will guide me steps  – every step.  Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t ever slip, or even fall, but it does mean that when I do, His hand will be there holding me.  Helping me.  Guiding me.

I wonder why I often still try to do “life” without fully holding on to Him?  How many times do I need to learn my lessons before changing how I operate?  That’s a question and a blog for another day.

But for now – I will do my best to cling to HIS hand and HIS ways, and not try to do things on my own!!   The “rocks” we are climbing on and walking on can be a challenge, but also a huge blessing as long as we are holding the hand of the ONE who knows the twists and turns of the rocks better than we ever will.    You with me?!?

–Rachel

Feeling a bit worth-less

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This week something happened in my life that made me feel worth-less, completely broken, and rejected.   Have you ever felt that? 
The words spoken to me and the difficult situation made me want to throw my hands up and say – “That’s enough!  I am tired, I am giving my all, and that still is being criticized. I’m done.”  Been there?   Maybe you have felt this in your life?  In your relationships?  In your job?  You may have felt broken, rejected, lost, hurt or you have felt worth-less.  
Guess what?… This is big….don’t miss it….
The CORE statement in P31 Fitness when we founded this company 10+ years ago is:   “YOU ARE WORTH IT.”   It’s a statement we have trademarked and we all say to to women everywhere daily.    WHY?  
 
Because I know that EVERY woman feels the very things that I am feeling this week from time to time.  Every woman that walks this Earth may often feel worth-less, not good enough, and may just want to give up.  “Broken, rejected, lost.”   And in our program – we GET to hear that message that we aren’t those things…that instead – – that WE ARE worth it!!! 
 
At times when we feel worth-less (I am speaking to myself this week too), we have to remember that our worth comes from CHRIST alone.  Our worth isn’t dependent on what we do or what we have.  It isn’t dependent on our achievements, our looks, our weight, or anything we can DO.  Our worth is dependent on who GOD is.  
 
That is where we need to find our worth.  When we seek our worth from HIM and we understand He has called us WORTHY…the hard times in this life won’t knock us down quite as far.  I didn’t do a good job of remembering where my worth is found this week….thankful for HIS grace, as I learn lessons daily.  
 
 
So,  when criticisms come at you, disappointments or the feeling of rejection strikes you deep, remember YOU ARE WORTH IT and remember just how true those words are to you. THAT is the purpose of P31 Fitness!!

Pain at the dentist

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Who ever likes to go to the dentist?  Not many of us.  But who likes to take their kids to the dentist when they are having a tooth problem?  Not many of us at all!

Well, that was today for me.  My 8 year old had a cavity that I probably waited a little too long to deal with, yes you can insert “mother of the year” here.  🙂  So here we go.  I load up the 4 kids to drive the 45 minutes to the city to go to the dentist.  Geared up for a long visit, I pack the snacks, books, and games and mentally prepare myself for sitting in the office awhile!

Sure enough, the x-rays come back and they are going to have to do some work – some intense work on my little 8 year old’s mouth.  This pediatric dentist is an awesome place…they have kid stuff everywhere!  So, as she is taken back to get the laughing gas mask on to start the procedure, she starts crying.  They haven’t done any work yet, but real big tears are rolling down her little cheeks.

She is worried, she is scared, she is unsure, and when she lays down in the dentist chair, she sure isn’t too certain about the mask they place over her nose.  That was a bit much for her.  How do you explain to a 8 year old that these crazy contraptions on their mouth and tubes, and noises, are all actually there to help her?!  All she can see and hear is new things that may or may not cause her pain.

As I sat there holding her hand, I thought about the simplicity of this visit and the irony of how it applies to our lives.  We have something that is maybe causing us pain, but to fix it and get rid of the pain, there are many uncertainties on that pathway.  Maybe it’s a change we need to make in a relationship.   Maybe it’s a change we need to make at work.  Maybe it’s a new habit we need to adopt.  But all we can see is the uncertainty of the current situation, and we often would just rather stay where we are….even in pain.

So as I held her, I kept saying to her – “it’s going to be okay”.  I know it’s hard to believe right now, but it’s all going to be okay!  Only 35 short minutes later, the dentist had fixed her problem areas, and here she was walking out with a balloon, a new bouncy ball, and a half smile on her face.  The best smile you can make when your face is half numb 🙂

Then the dentist gives her a coupon for ice cream and all is right with the world again!  No more pain, no more issues in her little mouth, but it took going through some uncertain circumstances to get there.  She had to trust in that dentist and in what we were asking her to do, in order to come out better on the other side.

What in our lives can we trust God with…knowing that it may mean going through some tough times first, but that in the end it will actually bring us to a better place?  What can we do today that may hurt a bit, but that will lead us to a more pain free situation tomorrow?  What can we eliminate from our lives that may be hurting us, but if we will let it go, can actually bring us peace?

I’ve not enjoyed the pain of these life “dentist” lessons I have had to go through.  None of us do.  But I do know that I wouldn’t trade one painful lesson for anything because it has brought me to a better place spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.  The bad tooth aches I have faced in life (whether in relationships, work situations, or just plain hard times) have made me into who I am today and they have equipped me to handle the next bad “tooth” that comes along!  And the best part of it all, is the ice cream we can enjoy after the pain of the dental work!!

–Rachel Curtis

Founder, P31 Fitness

Chicken fingers and Joy

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Chicken fingers.  Yummy!  Especially with gravy! Monday night, we went to the good ol’ Dairy Queen in our small town, and ordered the kids’ favorite….the chicken finger basket.  You know, the one that comes with a Styrofoam cup of gravy, big Texas toast, french fries, and chicken fingers….all tucked in that nice box.

Thankfully since the kids are still little, the kids and I can all share just one of those boxes and be just fine!  So, I divvied out everyone’s chicken and fries, and split the toast between all 4 kids, lastly dumping some gravy in each person’s tray.  Somehow, the 2 year old ended up with the gravy cup!   As we were sitting there, I started watching her with this gravy.  She first dipped her pinky in it, then went 2 fingers, and soon her whole little fist was in the gravy.  Once I showed her that she can dip her chicken in there, she got a big smile, grabbed up that chicken finger and dipped it about half way in.

Then, the funniest thing happened, after she dipped her chicken, she took a bite, but she didn’t even eat the side of the chicken that she had dipped!! She ate from the other side and held the part that was covered in gravy in her gravy covered hands.

When I watched this, I thought about our focus of JOY.  Why?  Because we often miss joy in our lives because we eat from the wrong end of the chicken.  We have joyful situations all around us, but we either choose not to see them or we don’t know how to get away from negative situations that pull us down.  For me, this was getting rid of some things in my life that weren’t bringing joy to my heart.  For me, it was slowing down a learning to look for joy and engage in that area of my life.  Because if you are like me, you often see those negative things in your life, and you focus your attention there.  In other words, we eat the end of the chicken that wasn’t even dipped in the gravy!!  While just at the other end of the chicken strip is a yummy bite of joy waiting for us to enjoy.

As silly as this all may sound  – let’s all think about ways in our life that we can engage in the joy that is already around us.  Maybe that is our family, some good friends, a positive situation at work, or anything that produces joy in our lives…and focus in THERE…on the JOY..not the negativity.

The less we will focus on the bad things in our lives, the less they will consume us.  Let’s all work to focus UP on the positive, focus UP on Him, focus UP on what He has placed in our lives today….and the chicken with gravy will always taste better than plain chicken!!  Go dip that chicken and enjoy!

 

–Rachel Curtis

P31 Fitness Founder

It’s not that far!!

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The kids were playing at a park.  This was a new park we hadn’t been to before, and so that is always exciting!  This park had the normal playground, but then to the side – we spotted it.  It was the COOLEST tree ever!! It was huge, but not huge in the up direction – instead the massive limbs spread out wide and low.  The kind of tree that every kid dreams to climb on because of the thick branches, and the ease of getting up quickly, and most importantly, the ability to JUMP from branch to branch!!  It was truly a cool tree!!

The two older kids got right on it, while the younger two stayed down to watch.  But it didn’t take long before all 4 kids were climbing around, swinging from the branches, calling for help, and having a great time.  The 2 year old showed no fear once she started going.  In fact, I needed to climb up there at one point because she was going higher and higher with no hesitation.  She had no worries that she could fall and fall pretty far at that.  Why didn’t she have fear?  Because she had never experienced the pain of a fall.  Isn’t it amazing to think back in our lives the enthusiasm we used to carry before we knew we could get hurt?  Or the way we would love before we knew we could get hurt?  Pain changes us!

Anyhow, while I watched the kids, I listened to them encourage each other, make up fun pirate games, and laugh with pure joy.  At one point, the oldest showed some hesitation.  When I started to see why, it was because she was watching her brother jump from one branch to another, and although she joined in on the fun, she got to where it was a pretty far jump and she stopped.  He kept going, but she looked at me, looked at him, and said, “I’m not sure I can do that one”.  I asked her why, and she said because it’s farther than the others.  All the while, her fearless brother looked at her, and said, “Madison- it’s not that far away, and besides, if you do fall, the ground isn’t rocky…it won’t hurt that bad.”.

Usually my kids teach me lessons, and the lessons come at the perfect time as I am facing some things in my life.  If I will listen and learn from these experiences, I see God working powerfully to nudge me in one way or another.  This time, it was about taking some steps of faith.  It was about learning from past pain.  It was about trusting in God even when I had some fear of falling.  What I sat there and realized is that I often won’t jump from branch to branch because I fear the pain I experienced before….maybe a few months before, a few years before, or even back to college days!   Those sort of pains that stick with us and change us.  But what I also realized while sitting there that day in the warm sun, under the tree branches and giggles of my kids, was that it’s usually not that far to jump when jumping in faith.  Plus, if I do “fall” in my life, as long as I am trusting in God for the jump, it probably won’t hurt as bad as I anticipate.  He always has a way of teaching us lessons and helping us to see the best in every situation, even if we don’t quite land on the branch we were aiming for when we originally jumped.

So today, wherever you may be in life…whether you are standing on the ground deciding if you should climb a tree, or if you are all the way at the top of the tree, or if you are contemplating jumping to a new “branch” in your life through a leap of faith, just know that every choice and every time we take action while trusting in Him – we will make it through.  He will help us, show us, teach us, and pick us up when we fall.  Because as we walk in Him, in all reality…any leap is really “not that far” as my little boy would say!

Happy climbing and happy jumping!!

–Rachel Curtis

P31 Fitness, Founder

Following, even when we can’t see

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We were in Colorado, and came across a big, “fun” mountain.  We were not in the best hiking gear, in fact – both my daughter and I had flip flops on.  We didn’t know that the terrain was full of cactus plants until we were about half way up the mountain.   The four kids did pretty good going up the first part of the hike.  It was fairly flat and grassy.  We were all laughing, and racing, and jumping from rock to rock.  But then we hit that point in every hike with kids, that gets tough.  You know the time when the complaining begins.  The tired factor kicks in, and all of the sudden everything is wrong with everything.

Tired, hot, thirsty, legs hurt….just about anything that feels wrong will be vocalized.  Because I want my kids to be tough and non-complainers(ha) – I tell them, we are almost there, keep going!!!  Even though the mountain still looms in front of us.  They get a new sense of energy and enthusiasm, and we trudge on.   The oldest looks up, and says – “It doesn’t LOOK like we are close”.  I tell her – well, maybe our destination isn’t the very top after all, and maybe we are closer than we think!!  There was a clearing up about 15 more feet that I knew if we could just get there, it would feel like we had climbed a mountain to them!

So, with one child on my back, and holding the hand of the other, my husband and I look identical and we look at each other and just smile.  It wasn’t as “fun” as it seemed looking at it from the car in the eyes of our kids – but to us, we knew some life lessons were being learned!  Keep on, don’t give up, help each other, and be tough even when things aren’t easy… good lessons.

The picture isn’t us, but cool picture!

Once we arrive at our top, we are able to look down and see how far we have come!    Everyone is pleased with themselves.  Then, we start heading down.  We all realize there were a lot more cactus plants than we realized, and soon the ouch factor kicks in!  The little ones are being carried, and my son and husband have good hiking shoes on, but here my daughter and I are in our flimsy $1 flip flops!  She starts to really break down.  My normal tough 8 year old fell apart.  At one point, she just stood on a rock and started crying.  She said, “mommy, I can’t go anymore.  There are pokey plants everywhere!”.  At first I just tell her to keep walking – that it will be okay!  To watch where she is stepping and to avoid them!

But when that doesn’t work, I soon realize that she doesn’t know what direction to go because she doesn’t want to get hurt again.  She doesn’t want to step one more step and get that jab through the flip flop.  I sure don’t blame her!!  So, I turn around and decide she just needs to know WHERE to step.   I tell her to not panic, and instead to just follow directly in my footsteps.  That I will walk ahead of her, and she can step where I am stepping.

As soon as I said those words out loud, I immediately thought about FAITH.  I pictured myself on that rock in my own life, panicked by whatever tough situation I was facing, crying, and unsure of what steps to take next.  Fear of getting hurt, or taking the wrong path, how many times have I just stalled out in life and wanted to quit?  How many times have I thrown my hands up in defeat, and said I just don’t know what to do or where to go?

We don’t want to get hurt as humans.  We don’t like pain.  We typically run from it.  However, pain happens.  The key is learning how to not keep walking straight into that pain each time.  To learn form our past and hopefully avoid painful situations when we have a choice!!

So as I am “leading” my daughter to walk in my footsteps down the cactus filled mountain, I related it to my own life.  God is walking in front of me each day.  He is giving me the footprints to follow.  If and when I will follow those footsteps, He will lead me in a way that brings peace.  His ways.  But when I walk outside of those footprints, I experience more self-inflicted pain and trials.  Now, I don’t believe we can always escape pain, as sometimes the “obstacles” we face are what bring us closer to Him.  But, I do believe that more often than not, if we will follow in the path He has laid out for us, we will find that we can experience a life that is defined differently than when we do it on our own.  God never walks to fast for us, and He always is walking in a way that leads us closer to Him.

So, even when we can’t see what is ahead of us, we need to TRUST in His ways and His steps and walk in them.  A focus this year for me has been to “focus up”.  If you are like me, we get easily distracted by the things around us.  Whether that be situations at work, home, in our relationships…or just day to day life pings.  I call the things that poke at us all day and get to us emotionally – “life pings”.  We  don’t realize it, but these pings can start to really impact us!!  Maybe it is a comment from someone that we keep replaying in our heads, or a post we saw, or a look that we didn’t quite know how to read.  Whatever those pings are in our life, tend to distract us from the main focus we should carry daily.

Focusing up requires our trust in HIM to know that where He is leading us is up to Him.  That when we step in those footprints He has made, that we can rest in full confidence that He is in charge.  He will never lead us astray!

May we all follow, trust, and focus up today – even when we can’t see!

–Rachel Curtis

Founder, P31 Fitness

If you don’t want to get wet…

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People are funny.

Yesterday we were at a splash pad in a nearby town.  The kind of splash pad with the guns that shoot water and buckets that dump on you at any given time, plus random water shooting out of the ground. Fun, right?

I had the 4 kids in swimsuits, towels packed, sunscreen…on half of the kids 🙂  We were ready!!

We pull up and the 2 big kids run out of the car and start playing.  While we get the 2 little ones out of their car seats, and get over there, we see another family under a little pavilion on the edge of the splash pad.

As I am finishing getting sunscreen on the other 2 kids, I hear this lady saying, “Seriously?  You did that on purpose!” And I look and she is yelling this at my 5 year old!  Well, if you have kids, the mama bear feeling can come out when someone else is correcting or yelling at your kids! Especially when it seems unmerited.

So, I stop what I am doing and say, “excuse me ma’am – what happened?”  She said – “HE SPRAYED ME WITH THE WATER ON PURPOSE!”.  I slowly say , “No, he is a kind boy, and he is simply playing at a water park.  The gun happened to be pointed at you and you were standing where it sprayed when it went off, he did not do this on purpose”.  Then I tell my son – “Jaxon – go apologize to her”.

When he goes over there, and says sorry to her, she says – “oh, it’s okay honey.”

At this point – I am super confused.

This lady is at a water park.

She has just screamed at me and my son.

Now we are all supposed to act like nothing happened.

Let me remind you, we were at a water park!

Well, this incident, like many that happen, got me thinking about our spiritual life.  How many times do we get “sprayed with the water” by life, and we are shocked when bad things hit us?

What I mean is that we often put ourselves in situations that are not good, or situations that are hard, and then we are upset or surprised when we things don’t go our way.

How often do I set myself up to be hurt and then get mad when I am hurt?

How many times do I keep going back to….. a bad habit, or an unhealthy friendship, or turning to food when I am stressed, or spending an unhealthy amount of time on social media, or a choosing to be involved in a work situation that isn’t good?  How many times do I eat way too much of something that I know will make me feel yucky the next day?

Each of these things can leave us feeling inadequate, frustrated, or not good enough.  

However, each time I face these things, I hope things will be different.  But they aren’t.  I still leave feeling bad or negative, and basically like I have been sprayed in the face with water!!

It shouldn’t surprise us like it does, but here is the funny part…I am surprised EVERY time it happens!!  Sadly, I find myself continuing to go back and open myself up to get hurt!!  Why?

I started to realize that I had a choice.  I could continue to do the same things, expecting a different result, OR I could change something, and avoid the situation that was causing me so much harm, and try something NEW!  What? I could spend some time in prayer and change some actions to hope for a different result!

Lesson:  Don’t stand in the way of a water sprayer and expect not to get sprayed!

I am not saying we can avoid every bad thing that comes our way.  But what I am saying, is we can take some action steps to not set ourselves up to get hurt or frustrated or feel like a failure quite as easily!!  And if we do get sprayed by a life situation, we can not get mad at the situation that is spraying us,  if we had a choice to stand there in the first place!

There is power in choice, and we are capable of making choices that benefit us and those around us, rather than hurt us and frustrate us.  Sometimes we just need to move.

Maybe, just maybe if we move out of the way, or stand in a new spot, or try a new path, or adopt a new habit, we can stay dry!!

I think I will try this today…

–Rachel Curtis

Founder of P31 Fitness

It’s not working!

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How many of us have started a fitness or weight loss program, and after a few days or weeks of HARD WORK, we find ourselves saying these words…”It’s not working!”

Maybe we have dedicated ourselves to a new way of eating and working out.  We have planned, prepped, cleaned out, set everything out exactly as we are told.  Then for a few days we do really well with our new “diet” plan.  We are eating what we were “supposed” to eat, we are drinking our water, we are exercising regularly, and THEN we get on the scale……

The number staring back at us is NOT what we imagined it to be!  It didn’t drop!  Or at least it didn’t drop as much as we thought it would be at this point!

We put in the work, we followed the “rules” and now all we feel is that it just isn’t working.  We feel defeated.  We feel sad.  We feel frustrated.  We feel like we want to give up….again.

If you have ever been in this cycle – it’s time we change the way we are thinking, or we may just continue to be disappointed again and again.  This is no way to live.  Believe me, I have been there, I have done that, and it is frustrating!! Many times I have said those words out loud – “It is just not working!”.

Maybe it’s not with working out or our weight loss – but maybe it is with something in our jobs, or our home, or a relationship…we want to throw up our hands and say “it’s just not working!   We have all said it, thought it, or may be thinking it right now.

Take heart and let’s look to see what IS working in our lives!!  There is probably a lot more that IS working than isn’t working.

But here is what I have found in my own struggles, I usually need to look to see what may be going on at a deeper level!  Usually my “issue” I am trying to fix or work through is caused by another thing that I have got to work through!  Example – “I want to get in shape or lose weight or eat better”.  Therefore I start to workout, change how I am eating, clean out my pantry, and do all the “right” things.  However, a stressful situation happens, I stop going to workout, feel the need to want to stuff my face when I am stressed, etc and I proceed to self-sabotage and fall off my get in shape wagon.   Been there?  Now, if I will figure out the WHY behind wanting to stuff my face or run away and hide, or whatever it might be – I find that often there is a deeper emotional reason, then I can get somewhere.

I have to stop trying to bandage the problem, and instead I need to start to deal with the tough stuff!!  THAT is not always fun or easy, but I am telling you that it is the ONLY way to fix an “outside” problem.

So, what does this look like?  It looks like asking myself questions like:

“If I don’t go to workout, will I feel better or worse?”

“What is overeating food really doing for me?”

“What am I trying to accomplish by eating too much?”

“What am I feeling inside that is causing me to want to self-destruct?”

“Who am I and who do I want to be?”

“What is driving me to eat when I know I am not hungry?”

“Is this path of life working for me?”

“What am I focusing on that is causing me to get off track?”

“What can I do to make a new path instead of running into the same brick wall all of the time?”

Write down your answers, and think through what is really going on!  If you are like me – you may find that the answers to these questions can help you to fix some of the outside things you are trying to accomplish.

These things I mentioned are things that I have done in my life to find freedom in many of the areas I have struggled with in the past.  I am not a psychologist, but I will tell you that my struggles were REAL and this was the only way that I could get out of the pattern and bad cycles I found myself in for years!!!!  I can now feel freedom from learning more about myself and making better choices because I am seeing things differently!! Focusing up on Him instead of at the problem! 

So, if you are feeling like things aren’t “working” in your life, (whether it be your workout program, your weight loss, your food intake, or anything), instead of continuing to try things and getting frustrated when they aren’t working or bringing the results we want, let’s see if we can get a little deeper so that we can gladly say -“IT IS WORKING”!  Sound nice?  I think so!!!

–Rachel Curtis

P31 Fitness founder

 

Worth more than a number

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Have you ever had an AWFUL day because of a number on a scale?
Are you one of those women that weighs herself faithfully every day, wearing the same thing, weighing at the same time, and hoping for a different number every day?  If you are, you are not alone!

However, I need to ask you one question – what are you trying to prove?  What would happen if you hit that “magic” number that is floating around in your head?  Will you all of the sudden be satisfied?  Will that prove you are finally “it”?  Take a minute and re-evaluate.

The scale is just a number!  Sometimes we need to hear this because of our obsessive tendencies to do all we can to make that number different.

Start to think about other things:

1) Are you eating good quality foods?

2) How are your portions?
3) Are you eating for the right reasons?
4) Are you working out to improve your levels of fitness and health?
5) Are you sleeping enough?
6) Are you taking care of your emotional health?

7) How are your relationships in life?
These are the things we need to spend time focusing on each day!
So…we challenge you, STAY OFF THE SCALES…
You are WORTH more than a number!  

Do we REALLY need to take care of ourselves?

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Why is it important that we take care of ourselves?  Does it really matter?

As women, we tend to be givers.  Whatever we set our minds to, we usually try to give our best:  jobs, family, daily tasks, and much more.  However, sometimes, we don’t do the same for ourselves.
Maybe when it comes to your own health – you may just feel burned out, tired, or like you don’t want to give your best in this area. You may even feel that you want to quit, give up, stop in your tracks, and throw your hands in the air in surrender.  At some point, all women struggle with this battle inside.
The good news is there is always hope.  Hope in God, and in the life He has given to us. Hope that if we will take care of our “temples”, that it will be a blessing in the end.
Satan knows that if he can attack women in the area of their own health and wellness, we won’t be able to be who we need to be for others.
However, we have a DAILY CHOICE to fight, to be strong, and stand against the lies that sometimes creep in our minds.
Repeat after me, “I will be the best I can be for God’s purposes, and His ways.  I am here to live for Him, and be a blessing to others.  I am not going to sink into those feelings.  I will take care of myself and give 100% so as I can be 100%!”
Only when we are placing ourselves as a priority, can we be the best for those around us each day!
YOU ARE WORTH IT!