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Posts Tagged ‘holy yoga’

Sitting in simple seated, I looked at the mirror in front of me. Frowning, I stared at the awkward place where the waistband of my yoga pants landed on my belly.

It took me a couple minutes in this space to realize the lies I was believing about myself. It began with accusing myself of looking frumpy, spiraling down to a space of falsehood comparing myself to women on Instagram. This spiraled even further into believing the lie that I’m never going to be enough for any man.

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Recently in a Matt Chandler sermon, he shared the following from a Brené  Brown TED Talk…

“Brené Brown is a researcher at the University of Houston…She says men and women experience the pressure of achievement in very different ways. Here’s how she says women experience an achievement-based culture:
‘[Women are] expected (and sometimes desire) to be perfect, yet we’re not allowed to look as if we’re working for it. We want it to just materialize somehow. Everything should be effortless. The expectation is to be natural beauties, natural mothers, natural leaders, and naturally good parents, and we want to belong to naturally fabulous families.’ Brené goes on to argue in an achievement culture with perfection as the standard, a woman is forced into impossible either-ors. Here’s her list.
‘Be perfect, but don’t make a fuss about it, and don’t take time away from anything, like your family or your partner or your work, to achieve your perfection. If you’re really good, perfection should be easy.
Don’t upset anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings, but say what’s on your mind.
Dial the sexuality way up (after the kids are down, the dog is walked, and the house is clean), but dial it way down at the PTA meeting. And, geez, whatever you do, don’t confuse the two.
Just be yourself, but not if it means being shy or unsure.
Don’t make people feel uncomfortable, but be honest.
Don’t get too emotional, but don’t be too detached either. Too emotional and you’re hysterical. Too detached and you’re a cold hearted [witch].’
She uses different language, but she’s a researcher, and I’m a pastor, so I edited that quote. This is what Brené Brown says women feel in an achievement-based culture. ‘You have to do… You have to be…’ They feel the weight of perfection, that they have to be perfect. Not only do they have to be perfect, but in that perfection it has to look like they’re not working at it.
Ladies, does anybody feel any of this?”

 

As I sat on my yoga mat looking at my reflection, various statements of the following came to mind: “Naomi, you are only beautiful and desirable if you have a flat stomach, voluminous hair, flawless skin and perfectly shaped eyebrows.”

Y’all, I have to laugh at how self-centered, petty and ridiculous that sounds!

Seriously, those lies are crap.

We live in a society that has distorted God’s definition of beauty and where we find our identity.

Thankfully, God’s Word says otherwise.

~ “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27

~ “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” 1 Samuel 16:7

~ “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty!” Psalm 8:3-5

~ “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed.” Psalm 34:5

~ “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139: 13-14

~ “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.” Proverbs 31:25

~ “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

~ “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

~ “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10

~ “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” Philippians 3:20

~ “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…” Colossians 3:12

 ~ “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8

~ “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are…” 1 John 3:1

 

How easily it is to be deceived by the lies of our culture.

Darling, please hear me.

You are intelligent.

You are strong.

You are capable.

You are enough.

You are desirable.

You are captivating.

You are chosen.

You are loved.

Next time you find yourself in a place of unbelief and feeling confused by the lies of our culture, remember what your Creator says about you.

You have a Father in Heaven who is the King of Kings. He gently holds you in His fond embrace,  lovingly looks into your eyes and says, “I chose you. You are mine. And you are loved.”

 

 

 

 

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You know I love talking about the desires I believe God has laid on my heart. The Dreamer within me will have days when I am productive in nothing else except producing up twenty new ideas about how to minister to teenage girls.

It has been a very long year and a half. However, for the first time in a long time, I have begun to feel as though I have some direction again.

Just last month I completed my training to became a Certified Holy Yoga Instructor. This included 225 hours of  intense, online training for 9 weeks and a week of hardcore training in the mountains of Arizona.

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The gorgeous ladies in my cabin at our Holy Yoga retreat!!

If you would have asked me in high school where I thought I would be at twenty-two years old, a certified yoga instructor would not have even made it in the list of possibilities. God does have a sense of humor.

What to know something even more ridiculous?

I am about to begin six more months of online Holy Yoga training.

Some may not understand why I’m so surprised about where I am in life, but I am. And the only way to explain it, is by giving credit to the Holy Spirit, guiding me on this map-less journey, taking me the road less traveled (Robert Frost).

I am one of those people you could sit down with over coffee and I could clearly describe to you who I am. My interests, passions, quirks, fears, pet peeves, strengths, even list out all of my weaknesses. But, I cannot give you any logical explanation about why I became a Holy Yoga instructor other than the fact that I know this was a step of obedience into God’s grace.

If I had said no, it would have been out of fear. And in Christ’s love, there is no fear (1 John 4).

Henri Nouwen writes, “Over the years we have developed the idea that being present to people in all their needs is our greatest and primary vocation. The Bible does not seem to support this. Jesus’ primary concern was to be obedient to his Father, to live constantly in his presence. Only then did it become clear to him what his task was in his relationship with people.” 

For a few years now, I have consistently repeated to my Mom, “I do not care about a college degree. All I want to do is love God and love people.” In the midst of the darkness that filled my life last year, God answered the prayer I did not even know I had been praying.

Please let this be an encouragement to you. I have NO IDEA where I am going to be in years to come. But, I believe in the faithfulness of the Father who created you and me.

We serve a mighty God. He knows us deeply and intimately, and yearns for us to turn to Him with revered obedience.

In what area of your life is God asking for obedience? Where is He pursuing you?

God has created you specifically with purpose and beautiful intention.

What is it? Do you know? Why don’t you ask Him?

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