FUN FRIDAY! Special Guest Post: Beverly Weeks

Happy Fun Friday to ya’ll!

Today’s guest post comes from my beautiful friend Beverly Weeks. Here and I met through the She Speaks/Proverbs 31 track and have enjoyed a blossoming friendship. I really love her fresh voice and fun perspective on life. I hope you enjoy her down to Earth attitude about reaching her goals AND honoring God :)

A Personal Trainer, Are You Kidding?

ME workout with a personal trainer? Are you kidding? Warning: if you use your imagination, the contents in this devotion may cause you to laugh so hard you may wet your pants…well never mind. His name was D-Rock and can I be candid? He looked just like something off of a butter commercial. Young,  dark eyes, tan, and yes he had a six pack. You could see it right through his t-shirt along with the muscles on his arms, legs, and even around his ankles!  I was well over 40 and it was obvious that my body had been drooping in places I never knew it could possibly droop! And then there was Spanx, ughhh never worked for me, that just squishes it all out!! Determined to slow down the aging process I relentlessly called him up and scheduled an appt. That first night he worked out muscles I never even knew existed, all the while I was trying to act refined by sucking in my stomach tightly and holding everything as upright and in place as I could. I thanked him and headed straight for the bathroom. PROBLEM, I couldn’t squat!! Frustrated , I got in the car & headed home.

An hour later I found myself lying on an ER table with my husband and my friend Phyllis by my side. To save me embarrassment, the doctor gave it a fancy diagnosis. I knew what he was thinking, the same thing I was.  Are you crazy? What are you trying to prove? Your whipped , and not to mention you feel like your about to die!! D-Rock had done a great job, I had just failed to tell him I hadn’t eaten all day. I was so engrossed with trying to make myself look better on the outside that I had failed to fuel up and take care of the inside. Just being candid, I have tried it all! Atkins, cracker diets, no starch, no meats, no sweets and the lists goes on.  You know, I was concentrating all my efforts on trying to be beautiful and improve my outward appearance, yet I was a failure on the inside. A crumbling marriage, success & goal driven, priorities out of line , always caring about what others think, using disrespectful words to my spouse….. trying to impress so many people, but not the two  people I should have been seeking two impress, my God and my husband.

I was doing it all wrong!  The deepest beauty does not come from cosmetics, jewelry, working out, or basking in the sun, but the deepest beauty by far is the beauty of the soul. Don’t misunderstand me it is not wrong to desire outside beauty. Hey I still get my nails done, and my hairdresser Jamie knows I am going to be there every Friday at 8:30, and you will always see me with jeans and high heels.  At the end of the day everyone wants to look better BUT looking better from God’s point of view begins on the inside and not the outside.  Sometimes I have to see my flaws and recognize that I am a sinner and seek for God to change whatever is wrong from within.  Mirror Mirror on my wall, my GOD finds me beautiful, even when I fall.  That my friend is what matters most of all.      

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Samuel 16:7

 

 

Beverly Weeks is an energized Christian speaker who is devoted to encouraging couples with God’s inspired Word.  She has written numerous online devotions, blogs & articles to exemplify powerful, practical biblical truths to couples standing for their marriage and family. Candidly & transparently, Beverly shares the grace, hope & redemption that Christ offers to all and their marriage relationships.

Beverly speaks from personal experience, a confident faith and a zealous passion, proclaiming encouraging messages of hope. She engages women’s groups, churches and conferences with topics such as Battling Low Self Esteem to Healing in Your Marriage.

Beverly presently serves with Intentionally Yours, a marriage focused ministry, facilitates Art of Marriage conferences and is a Homebuilder Catalyst for Family Life Ministries.

Hey wait a second, who wrote this? Don’t forget I love dark chocolate, peanut butter & bananas, alfredo sauce, shopping, consignment shops & did I say I LOVE dark chocolate?

To find out more about Beverly visit:  www.intentionallyyours.org

When my hardest feels like my least….

UGH…there it was. The hard reality that my house was in desperate need of a good cleaning. Feet were getting dirty from being inside folks! This was it.

Anybody who knows me probably knows I hate cleaning. The way I feel about cleaning is likely the way most people feel about working out! I mean, I would easily rather run a full on marathon and scrub toilets!

The odd flip side to this is that I really don’t like anybody else cleaning either. I hired a great maid service one, but it never happened again. It’s not that I don’t want a clean house or that I like to live in filth (OK, maybe it’s not THAT bad), it’s that I have a martyr issue. I see a sword, and I will fling myself over it. Not before making my family take a good look first though….

Do you ever fall on your own sword? As a wife and mother I don’t think I should have to ask for help from my family, I feel it is owed to me since I help them so much. Anybody else on this train or is it just me?!?!? I point out what I do on top of what I already do. Is that confusing you? Try living with me!

You see, on days when I can only see my sword, I am quick to point out that I have accomplished more in 1 hour than my loved ones have accomplished all day. I mean, I run 2 businesses, have writing deadlines, deal with marketing issues, train for marathons, train others for life events and blah, blah, blah… It can all get to be too much. Not the work itself, but the feeling like “I” am the one doing it ALL.

We were never created to do it all. Even if you’re in the midst of a weight loss battle, you were not created to go it alone. Man was created for companionship. Not only that, but if I look real hard at my Bible study, my eyes begin to open to how I should see my circumstances. Each and every one of “my” things become acts of a grateful servant. These acts are then set up as offerings to the One who bought me, for a steep price. So then, when I see my sword of martyrdom (“I’ll just do it myself!” anybody ever say that?) and feel overwhelmed, I can change my tune….

 Thank You for a house to clean.

Thank You for children to care for.

Thank You for a loving husband.

Thank You for the time to train.

Thank You for the people You bring into my life.

Thank You for the food You provide.

Thank You for Your blessings.

Each and every act of the day can become an act of worship. Now, I won’t lie and tell you I have it all together! Oh, I still fall on my martyr sword more than I like to admit. Perhaps I should put it away ;)

“Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]! She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]. She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat.” Proverbs 31: 25-27

Michelle

What If We Really Were REAL…

I’m coming off a testing and rewarding trip to the She Speaks Conference in Concord, NC. The whole trip up there we had tunes from Chris Tomlin, Britt Nicole, Lecrae, Toby Mac, Jaime Grace, and Mandisa. The song What If We Were Real, by Mandisa, kept playing over and over. If you haven’t experienced it, check it out HERE. This song became the theme of the trip and opened up some tight spaces in my own mind.

It made me beg the question, “What if we really were REAL?”

Do you understand the weight of that question? You see, I was at a conference for Christian speakers and writers, all women. In fact, 650 women. That is a LOT of estrogen in one venue! My first morning was challenging to say the least. I entered with the anticipation of a school girl. I was ready to open up and make new and lasting friendships. This anticipation was quickly met with glares and stares, followed by shuns when I attempted to speak. Was it in my head? I would have thought that except when I placed my back down next to another woman in the foyer and said, “This looks like a great place to dig through our goodies”, to which she responded, “Sure”. Then she promptly packed up her bag and walked away. I found her at a chair in the back of the hotel. Not in the mood for making friends I assume.

So what was the deal? Was it Satan himself making me feel as though I didn’t belong? In reality, I don’t think Satan even has to try in this arena anymore. Women are so full of insecurities and judgement that it frees up the darker forces to focus on bigger things… What if that could change?

So, what would real look like? I spoke with a publishing agent at the conference and at the end of our brief time she thanked me for being willing to be so transparent. She stated that she had not seen that kind of real transparency in a long time. Being real takes a level of vulnerability that most of us are unwilling to tap into. We carry the weight of the world and the expectations of perfection on our shoulders to the point where we couldn’t point out real if it was on our nose! We live pre-rehearsed lives, always thinking of our reactions and the worst case scenarios. What is real?

What would happen if we were open to admitting our insecurities? What if we fessed up to feeling less than stellar? What if we chose to state that we are intimidated? What if we admit that when we see a beautiful woman who seems to have it all together, we feel less about ourselves? And, what if we confess that when we see that same woman with toilet paper stuck to her shoe, we feel a bit better?

I have found in my short life that women can hold other women down far better than any other force on Earth. Think about grade school and junior high. OK, stop crying, it will be ok…. :) WHat if WE could initiate a change in the world? What if we all woke up one day and began behaving a little differently? What if we let the real shine through?

My daughter had to deal with her first run of female competitiveness and nastiness this past school year. I had to lay the harsh reality that it does not end after school is over. Think about it: why is it so important for females to have a gaggle of friends? We NEED teammates!!!! We need to know that we have some double X’s on our side. Why do we struggle against each other?

Perhaps it is the innate and primal need to be loved. I have a little eye opener on that one: there is NOBODY and NOTHING on this Earth that can love you more than your Heavenly Father. Seek FIRST, then everything you need will be added. It took me several decades to learn that. So, why do we as women judge harshly? Philippians 4 gives us the instruction on how we should speak. We are to let no harmful speech escape our mouths, but only that which builds others up. In other words, if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all. Why do we struggle?

Now, I know you’re probably saying that you do build others up, but my question is this: do you build up those outside of your circle? Better yet, do you build up those you differ with? Even more, do you build up yourself?

I know I have given a lot of food for thought here and I promise it will not go unanswered. Throughout the following weeks we will be looking into our hearts and starting our own revolution. This will be a revolution to end all revolutions in my opinion. It is time to put down the fiery words and pick up our inheritance that is promised. It is time for a true change that rips throughout an entire generation. Are you ready to change the world? It starts in the heart of each of us.

Michelle