Growing Faith Muscles

 

FaithFueled Friday

Changing old habits

When I first came back to Christ, I was a stressed, worried mess. I worried about everything I had no control over, (which is everything) making myself physically sick. It may even have been the cause of me losing one of my twins in my last pregnancy. I would go over scenarios over and over again in my mind, making things worse each time. Then, after speaking with an excellent friend and mentor about my constant anxiety; She suggested a “God Box.” A “God box” is to place all my worries. First, I would write down my issues, pray, and then deposit it in the box. Anytime I began to worry, or what she likes to call “mentally masturbate” (that’s why I love her so) I would look at my box and acknowledge that I had already given it to God.

Matthew 6:34 (NIV) 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Growing Faith Muscles

This small gesture brought me great peace. At the time it was hard for me to trust completely in the Lord. I still sometimes struggle with this. In the world, you are so used to leaning on yourself for solutions when problems arise. In Christ, He will carry your burdens (Who does that? Not your fellow man!) which are something I am not used too. Breaking old habits is hard. Being a child of God, is just that, a child where you must learn new skills.

Matthew 11:28 (NIV) “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

Pumping My Muscles

Faith, Grace, and Mercy seem to be a like a muscle you need to grow; You must continually exercise it to see results. My friend’s suggestion of a “God Box”, which I now call my “prayer box” was exactly what I needed to increase my faith and truly understand God’s grace. Constructing my first box was simple. I took a tissue box covered it in shimmery paper and cut a hole in the top. All my worries were placed in it. I would still worry; it wasn’t an instant fix, but instead of continually going over the scenarios the box reminded me to pray.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus

 

GrowingYourFaithMuscle

Seeing Results

Eventually, my stomach subsided, things began to get better, prayers were being answered, and I wasn’t worrying.  Months went by, and I continued to exercise my new coping mechanism. One day, in the midst of prayer, God told me to open the box.  First, I didn’t realize how much stuff I worried about.  Secondly, I didn’t know how many prayers God had answered in less than three months.  His grace and mercy brought to fruition in my life.  Rewind two years later, prayer (and of course God) has changed my life, health, and stress.  I still break out the box when I need to release my burdens. I also use it to praise Him when I open it up to see all the things that he has done for me. If only I knew of His sovereignty sooner (not just in theory but actual application) in my adult life.

GrowingYourFaithMuscle.

How do you handle your stress? How do you strengthen your faith?

Music that makes you lift

My B.C. Self

Sometimes, I refer to my B.C. days, my Before Christ days. Some people are ashamed of their past, and others embrace it. I am the latter, I have done some shameful things in the past, but I know that I have been redeemed. I am not proud of this stuff, but they make me who I am today.

In my B.C. days, I used to swear like a sailor (I am a Puerto Rican, New York, US Navy Sailors daughter), so it was somewhat natural. When I had my first daughter I tried to cut back on my language.  It wasn’t until I accepted Jesus into my heart that I completely eradicated it from my vocabulary. It just doesn’t feel right praising God in one breath and then cursing the car in front of me for slamming on their brakes in the next. Those who do that is their choice I am not to judge, but personally I have extended my vocabulary to express myself.

The Same Me just Different

As for music, I was you Gangsta Rap, Hip Hop, Eminem, Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes and yes even Lil Kim type of girl.  Yes, raunchy, vulgar, crass lyrics that even for my B.C. self was not very lady like.  I would be blasting and belting out naughty lyrics to the top of her lungs but that was the old me.  Praise God for grace and redemption, right?

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Christian Rap Music

Doing things Differently

I worship God in a variety of ways. Some are private like my daily devotion, prayer time, Bible studies and messages I watch. There is the public woeship that you and Social Media are privy too, and that is my fitness. I use my fitness to worship God. That just doesn’t work out well when you have gangsta rap blaring in your headphones. So, like I changed my language, I changed my music too.

What do I listen to?

Great question! I get asked all the time at the gym, in running groups, with workout buddies. “De, what are you listening to?”  I am usually bobbing my head, tapping my feet and rapping/singing lyrics during my workouts.

Christian Rap Music.

What is Christian Rap?

So, what do I listen to? Gangsta Christian Rap! Haha, I laugh because it’s not gangsta. No one is killing each other, selling drugs, demoralizing women; but if you weren’t listening to the lyrics and just the beat and background music you would assume that it was Gangsta Rap music! A lot of the lyrics are motivating like how God gives them strength, how God has redeemed them from their past, how God is a critical role in their life. So, I always feel funny calling it Gangsta Christian Rap but other people may consider it as such. My husband does tease me saying that I went from a “Gangsta heathen to a Gangsta Christian.”

I also listen to worship music, some gospel and when I mean, “some,” I mean very little. I am not the biggest fan of gospel music. I love worship music but just can’t get into that old time gospel sound.

Do your daughters listen to secular music?

I get this a lot too. My husband and I are trying to raise “Kingdom Kids.” My family does not listen to secular music in the house or car.  My tween daughter is allowed to listen to secular music, but it has to be approved by her father and I.  You think it was bad when I was belting our vulgar lyrics. For me listening to my daughter talk about “shake it, move your hips, blah blah blah,” is grating to my ear drums.  I rather censor her music than restrict it. We try to practice grace-based parenting versus fear based, so some secular music is allowed.
ChristianRapWorkoutMusic

My Playlist

I switch my playlist up, but I have about 50-60+ Christian Rap Songs that I pull.  I am a fan of Spotify and always making a playlist for when I do teach group classes in the future. I use Spotify and share my list all the time.  Right now here are my Top 10 workout song picks:

  1. Startover Flame featuring NF
  2. I wanna know Light Ends Darkness
  3. Sanctuary Flame featuring Mike Real
  4. Weight Music KB
  5. Be Relentless Victory
  6. Insomniac Trip Lee featuring Andy Mineo
  7. Move by Flame
  8. Crown and Thorns (Oceans) KB featuring Hill Song
  9. Good, Bad, and Ugly Lecrae
  10. Hello KB featuring Suzy Rock

There are so many more it was really hard just choosing 10! You can check out my full workout list and choose your faves! What is you Top 3 Workout Songs? What do you look for in your workout music?

 

Lemon Coconut Protein Chia Pudding

Meal Time Monday [Autosaved]

LemonCoconut.ChiaPudding

It sounds good, right? Well it is absolutely amazing! I have been dabbling in Chia Seed flavors lately. One because it is so good; second it is really easy and third it will kill a sugar craving and leave you full and satisfied.  It’s the perfect snack, breakfast!  I’ve made some questionable flavor combinations but this one by far is the yummiest! I had to share.

Chia Seed is also very beneficial it is rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals.  Some benefits of Chia seeds are:

  • Great for your Skin and Aging- it contains antioxidants that help accelerate skin repair and also inhibit skin from future damage.
  •  Great for digestion- Chia seed is very-high in fiber it is said to contain about 11 grams per ounce. Meaning one serving of Chia Seed can be your recommended fiber intake for the day! Fiber is critical for your body to help it balance your insulin levels and known as a blood sugar balancer.
  • Great for your Heart Health– Chia Seed has been know to:

    – reverse inflammation,

    – regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure make it extremely beneficial to consume for heart health.

    – reversing oxidative stress

    *according to an article published in the journal Reviews on Recent Clinical Trials:

  • Great for treatment of Diabetes– A study done came to the conclusion that eating chia seeds entirely inhibited the start of dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. There has been claims that it can halt or reverse diabetes. (I’m not making them but some researchers have been bold enough to come to that conclusion after laboratory testing.
  • Great for an extra Boost Your Energy & Metabolism- The addition of chia seeds will help boost your metabolism and burn belly fat.  It reduces visceral adipose tissue also known as belly fat tissue which has an effect on your ability to burn calories.
  • Great for Stronger Bones- One ounce of Chia Seeds is 18% of the daily recommended calcium intake.
  • Great to help you Build Muscle & Lose Weight- Chia seed is an excellent plant based protein. It has been recommened for people wanting to burn fat, get lean muscle and balance blood sugar levels.

    Lemon Coconut Protein Chia Pudding

I lift really heavy and have a high protein allocation in my diet so I am always trying new protein based treats.  I also love it for my daughter because it’s a wholesome meal in the morning and they can just grab their jar and go!  I don’t let them take it to school because of the glass but they each have one and just unscrew the lid and eat.  It’s nice for those busy school day mornings.  I don’t know about you but I am prepping for Back To School so testing out new flavors to keep them interested has been fun!  They can even make this on their own which my oldest one loves to do.

I have been going Lemon crazy lately. I am not sure if it’s because its summer time and its refreshing. Citrus is also great for helping absorb iron and it just makes everything taste yummy. From your bowl of fruit to your piece of chicken fresh squeezed lemon juice is always a great addition to a meal.  It’s versatility also allows for a lot of different flavor combinations.  The great thing about this pudding too is the Coconut is not overpowering.  If you don’t like coconut omit it and you have a Lemon “Meringue”ish Chia Pudding.

Lemon Coconut Protein Chia Pudding

Lemon Coconut Protein Chia Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 Lemon
  • 1/4c Chia Seed
  • 1/4 c Quinoa (Optional)
  • 1/4 c. Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 1 tsp Stevia
  • 1 serving of Protein Powder (1-2 scoops)
  • 1 1/4 cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Instructions

  1. Mix all together well
  2. Let sit overnight
  3. Enjoy!
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https://faithfueledmoms.com/lemon-coconut-protein-chia-pudding/

Roller Coaster of Peace

FaithFueled Friday

When things look bad

Have you ever had one of those “Rotten, terrible, no good, very bad days?” Weeks? Months?  I have to say that most days I am highly blessed and favored.Then there are those few moments in life where I feel like God was working on something or someone else that day? week? and sometimes even months? I know better but sometimes I let my feelings rule. On those days my annoyances get in the way it’s very hard to see anything else. The way I handled those days before Jesus is much different than how I would handle it today.

Girl in Time Out

James 1:2-4 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

What to do on the bad days

Say you had one of those days when by the time you eat lunch you are begging for a do over. Scared to proceed because you are asking yourself, “How could this day get any worse?”  Just as you completed your thought the unthinkable happens;  it gets worse.  Sometimes, on days like this the old me, the before Jesus me, comes out. I react with anger, anxiety, frustration, and get myself all worked up over things I have no control over. When I react like that I make bad decisions which go against who I am now with God.  I never achieve God’s purpose.  This is when I need to take steps to walk in God’s peace before I fly off the handle. God can handle anything, even the up’s and down’s of my emotions and He is there to give me peace when I can’t find it within myself.

Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always,.  I will say it gain: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do no be anxious about anything but in every situations, by prayer and petitions with thanksgiving, present your request to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends  all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in the Christ Jesus.

Peace.

 Steps to Walk in God’s Peace

1. Rejoice be happy in any and all circumstances. Sometimes it seems as if it can’t get any worse but trust me and it can. God is allowing you to be right where you are just for a moment; it may seem longer but if you look at the grand scheme of eternity we are only here for a moment. These blips are just a micro second in time even if the blips go on for months and months. Praise Him for His way is always better than your own and He will get you through whether you deserve it or not.

2. Be Gentle to those around you, you can sometimes blame them or take things out on them but that is not showing God’s love nor making the situation any better. Be gentle to show those around you God’s way. 

3.  Recognize His Presence I find this probably the hardest part when you are in the thick of the muck. Psalms 73:23 says: “Yet I am always with you;you hold me by my right hand.”  God is always with you and is your right hand even if you don’t feel His presence recognize that its that there.

4.  Pray If I forget the previous three steps I always know to pray; no matter where I am emotionally God’s peace always takes over me in prayer. His grace and His goodness will get me through anything even if my prayers are not answered immediately, just the peace I receive from prayer allows me to make better decisions.

Psalms 139:23-24 Search me God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way me; and lead me in the way everlasting.

 Peace

Up’s and Down’s of Faith

My faith is like a seesaw at the playground; as I get to know the Lord more, my faith goes up.  Then the old me can react badly and can jump on the other end but I will continue to look to Him for my balance and peace.  Every situation and circumstances is giving me more maturity in the Lord to learn how to persevere.  He knows what we need to bring us peace in every situations. How do you handle a stressful day? How did you used to handle it or is it the same?

Getting My Functional Exercise

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Functional Exercise

Functional exercises are performed every day in our workouts but have you considered doing a Functional Exercise workout to your weekly routine. As of recently this primary type of activity has not only caught my attention but is now I include it daily in my exercise.  It only takes me less than 20 minutes, and I am feeling the difference a month later.

What is Functional Exercise?

The point of the Functional exercise is to train your muscles to perform the everyday task safely and productively. Huh? Isn’t that the whole point of the exercise. Well yes, but functional training is more specific than that.  Functional exercises teach your muscles to work together and get them ready for your day to day tasks. The functional exercise simulates typical movements you may do at home, work or in sports. One of thing things I like about functional exercise is its emphasis on balance.  Usually, the exercises are performed while using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time this helps stabilize your core.

FunctionalExercise.

What are the benefits of Functional Exercise?

I have been on this weight loss journey for a year now. Recently, it has turned from a want to lose weight to new fitness goals. I decided that I want to be the fittest 70-year-old. Since yesterday was my birthday that means I have 36 years to obtain my long term goal, God willing. One of the benefits of Functional exercise and the advantage of all exercise is a lean, in shape physique. Another advantage of functional exercise is it helps make everyday life task easier. When functionally exercising you are using multiple joints and muscles at the same time. Training is liking this also reduces your risk of injury and helps improve your quality of life.

Functional exercises tend to be multi-joint, multi-muscle exercises. Instead of only moving the elbows, for example, a functional exercise might involve the elbows, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles. This type of training, properly applied, can make everyday activities easier, reduce your risk of injury and improve your quality of life.

SomaSole PlankHold

 

What does Functional Exercise look like?
There are a lot of exercises that are included that serve a functional purpose. Especially those moves that are various physical movements like in Tai Chi and Pilates.  The mix of resistance and flexibility is a great way to functionally exercise.  Some other common moves that you may recognize are; Multi-directional lunges, standing bicep curls, step-ups with weights these exercises help you with an everyday task such as vacuuming, mopping, yard work for example.  Proper form when performing these exercises is imperative.
How do I get started?
Most people would recommend functional exercise workouts for those over 40 (not there yet), but I feel that it is important for everyone.  It improves your balance, agility, muscle strengths and reduces the risk of falling.  If you have a trainer, I would ask them to include some functional exercises (they most likely already do).  There is always the University of YouTube and Pinterest.  Just be cautious that you are using proper form,  are cleared by a physician.  I gave you a little preview of the Functional Core Workout I have been doing the last month.  I feel stronger, can hold a plank longer and will be including this in my workout regime from here on out.
My Birthday Month Workout
Disclaimer This month I included a Functional Workout in my daily core routine.  I felt so much stronger and lost over an inch and a half on my waist which is a great benefit of exercise.  I also used my SomaSole Workout Bands.  They were a great easy way to add some resistance to my workout and one of my new favorite at home workout tools!!   They were a great easy way to add some resistance to my workout and one of my new favorite at home workout tools!!  Use Coupon Code DeBolton10 for 10% off of your own bands.
Do you do Functional exercise? How does it make you feel?

FunctionalCoreWorkout

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