Let me tell you a little story... 😘 A long time ago, I struggled with anxiety and depression. My doctor recommended working out to help with my seratonin levels. Years of ups and downs in weight, consistency, knee surgery, and carb addiction (it's a real thing right!?!) and I still struggled to find time to take care of myself. What I really kept saying is that I wasn't a priority. About 5 years ago, my husband and I were living in Los Angeles and I was really low, like the kind of low that you just know something HAS to change. So, I became a certified personal trainer. Then, I got ambitious and wanted to help everyone, so I also became a Beachbody coach. Stay with me here. God had other plans. Little did I know that God would seriously change my heart. I started noticing that He was chasing after me HARD. He tore down my walls. He made me stop living for the world's definition of success, but to live for the only thing that matters... His glory. He used my darkest moments and made them a ministry. A ministry where I get to love on people. Maybe I'm not the most successful coach or personal trainer by the world's standards, but I do know that God uses me to LOVE on people and love on them hard. All those years ago, I never would have imagined serving His kingdom over my dreams and my goals, and I'm so grateful God chased me down and reminded me that I'm HIS. I don't know where you are in your journey tonight, but I do know this. It's never too late to seek Him, to make a change, and to grow in faith and strength. If you want, I'll love on you right beside God. It would be my honor. And if you feel like loving on people right beside me and God, well, why don't you join my ministry that serves others through fitness. It's brought more to my life than I could ever imagine. God, strong Christ-centered women, my health, overcoming of anxiety and depression, and a faith that is bigger than I could have ever imagined. Send me a message and let me know how I can pray for you. Thanks for staying with me the whole long post. You deserve a prize! 🙌🏻😘
"Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet..."
Lately I feel God calling me to lay down more and more of my hopes and dreams. It's not a comfortable feeling. I have big ambitions. I set mega goals and keep very high expectations of myself. However, as the days go by I still feel as far away from my dreams as I was a year ago. Then He prompts me to listen. He knows my dreams. He sees them, he really does. He knows my heart and he hears my cries. Through all of my grumbling and days of not feeling like I'm good enough or I'll never "make it", He faithfully draws me near. He wants my heart. He wants me to seek Him more than I dream of worldly things. He shows me his love and glory in the smallest moments with Calista, in the beautiful lyrics of a song, or in the quiet after bedtime. He blesses me time and time again. All I have to do is turn to him, lay it all down, and see every single blessing that I have. It's not like he's denying me my dreams... He's blessing me with His dreams for me and that's even better.
So I don't know how you are struggling, but I do know you aren't alone. You are good enough. He hears you and He is blessing you. You just have to look up and see it. It's going to be okay whether you hit your dreams or not, because God's plans are always better than ours. So seek Him, sweet friend. Hold tight to the one who loves you best.
"The heart of meekness is simply harnessing the Lord's power under His control." Hayley Morgan from the book Wild and Free.
I want to share a little bit about how God is teaching me about surrendering my need to control my life. Back when we started trying to get pregnant with Calista, I didn't spend that much time with Him. I randomly prayed, sometimes read the YouVersion Bible app, and sort of walked like a Jesus follower... Key words: randomly, sometimes, sort of. We tried ovulation test strips, we tracked, we counted, we struggled. There were tears, silences, fights, and hurts. It only took us 11 months to get pregnant and I know for some that is a very SHORT amount of time. God's plan for us was to have a child, but first He wanted to draw us closer.
He used this journey of becoming pregnant to change our hearts. He removed us from our surroundings in Los Angeles and moved us back to the south where we had to form new relationships that honored Him. He led me to my first ever bible study at Johnson Ferry Baptist and have been going now for 2 years. He pruned us. He took away, so that He could give us more. I fought tooth and nail. I wanted to control this journey. I just knew if we could do all the right things our life would be perfect. I was so wrong. Only in surrendering to Him does my life make sense. Only in His hands will my life be perfect. He is strong. He is powerful. His ways are perfect and true. I will never be all of that alone, but with Him I can be. So I'm going to go on and be "meek" and surrender my control and my life to the one who knows and loves me best. I will forever be grateful to my Father who knew just what I needed and for blessing us with this little lady.
Our God is so good. Lately, I've been praying for God to open my eyes to his goodness in the small, mundane tasks. I am struggling in this season of motherhood. Sometimes, I feel like my dreams and goals are on hold, yet I am constantly reminded in Famous in Heaven and at Home by Michelle Myers, that being a mom is my "for sure, for sure" calling. So, I'm praying. I'm waiting on Him to reveal things to me. I am praying for him to change my heart and y'all, He is. In the smallest, seemingly insignificant moments I feel him telling me to "hold on". He's here. He loves me and He is good.
I have been doing a new study on Proverbs 31, Famous in Heaven and at Home. While I'm only halfway through, this study has helped God show me some hidden, ugly corners of my heart. My struggle is always that I am not "good enough". I constantly feel like I should be doing more. I should be more. I need to be a better wife, a better mom, a better house keeper. I need to have a successful business that I run from home during nap times. I need to have a larger reach. I need to have more money. I need to, need to be, need, need, need. Nope, I need Jesus.
Yes, I have many seeds of selfish ambition. I also struggle with discontentment and wanting my way over His. I know that His plan is better than mine. I know that His promises are true. Yet, I sin. I doubt. I struggle. I question my worth.
I've been praying that God would help me see all of those nasty corners. I have learned from this study that He "placed a void in my life that can only be filled with You (Him)." Pg.90. He has blessed me in so many ways, yet I sit here and want more. Sin. Sin. Sin.
So let's get back to me not feeling "good enough". Bear with me. That's my fall back feeling, so when I keep uncovering my sin, it makes me feel justified in my "suck". I yearn to be obedient. That's why day 14 of this study rocked my world. Jesus "laid down His preference to walk in obedience to God." Pg. 113. He laid down His deity, His rights, His life, to be obedient to God. I can't be that perfect. I'm not "good enough". But guess what?!? God saw this in my heart and brought words of comfort to me today in the form of Philippians 3:8-9.
"... For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and I count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith..."
Jesus was obedient. Jesus was righteous. He laid down His life so that we could be made righteous THROUGH our faith in Him. I am not "good enough", but He is, and I am covered in Him. When God sees me, He sees Jesus, and I am stunned.
I pray this blesses you as much as it has me. I needed these words of truth today.
This study has blessed me tremendously. You can join me through it on Facebook, simply add me as a friend and send me a message. (Natalie Donner Eskew).
Famous In Heaven & At Home: A 31-Day Character Study of the Proverbs 31 Woman https://www.amazon.com/dp/0996400923/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_ABODxbCNWV3P2
Be sure to follow Michelle's accounts on IG.
Isaiah 60:9. 🙌🏻
I put on a swimsuit. I looked in the mirror and I criticized. I immediately saw a million flaws. I instantly went and put on a loose cover up and thought all of my hard work was for nothing. Then, I got to the pool and there were a lot of people there and I thought "no way. No way am I taking this cover up off and swimming." I felt insecure, ashamed, not good enough. Then, I looked at Calista; her perfect little face, baby belly, flawless skin, joy in her eyes, and I thought, for her I will do anything. So, I took off that cover-up, got in the water and watched her splash and squeal and love her first time in the pool. I forgot my body. I forgot my fear, shame, and insecurities. All I saw was God through the light in her eyes. Guess what, He is the light in my eyes too, and he's in yours. He makes you beautiful.
So, let's stop with this nonsense of not feeling good enough to wear a bathing suit. Let's recognize his glory in us and let's shine our lights so bright. Go make those memories with your children. Go laugh and frolic. Go forth and know that you are His and you are beautiful.
"Anything that reduces or replaces God is an idol." -Jennifer Rothschild.
Anytime we have a plan B, we are actually saying that we don't think God is enough. Did your eyes just bug out of your head? Mine did. Think about it though, God made us. He knows the days of our lives before we were born. Every time we choose to think that He doesn't have this under control, is when we place other objects, people, or status above Him. In essence, we create idols.
I struggle with the need for approval and not feeling good enough. It's a weakness of mine and one that I am praying God helps me through. When I seek approval from worldly success, from other people, from status symbols, I am telling God that his approval means less and that is so not what I want to do! You with me?
Our God is so big and his promises are true and his love is larger than we can fathom. So, today, let's remember that every time we create a plan B in our lives, we are diminishing Him and who He says He is. He deserves more from us.
I'm working really hard on gratitude. I'm usually thankful for the obvious blessings I have in my life, like my family, shelter, food, and love. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says "In every thing, give thanks...", so that must mean things like my sore back muscles from carrying Calista all day for a week. It must mean to give thanks for my insecurities and my fears.
If God uses everything for His good, then won't he show me his love in these not so easy moments? Of course. I see how he uses my insecurities to help other mamas not feel so alone. I see how the tools he's given me to overcome my fears can help others. I can see that as much as I'm carrying Calista, He is always carrying me, no matter how much it may hurt him. Then I just want to fall to my knees. Our God never leaves us. He never forsakes is. He is always holding us and only wanting what is best for us.