Monday, November 5, 2018

Healing Strong Live

As most of you know, I am super passionate about health, wellness, and disease prevention. The Lord recently opened the door for me to become the group leader of our local Healing Strong chapter. Although I don’t have much room on my plate or extra time in my schedule, Jonathan and I both felt this was to be a “YES” for us.

So here we are.

Healing Strong is where my holistic health journey began nearly 5 years ago & where I have learned so much of what I know about “clean living.” I love the mission, the vision, the support, the education piece, the community, and most importantly that it is founded on Christ and a faith-based non-profit/ministry. It really is a perfect fit for me.

If someone you know is on a healing journey or interested in prevention, it’s worth checking to find a local group close to you. You will not regret it!

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This weekend I had the privilege of attending the Healing Strong Live conference at the beautiful In Touch Studios in Atl. Some sweet friends, group members,and my sweet parents all joined me for the event. (Jonathan would have because he loves it as much as I do, but our babysitters were out of town.)

It was so powerful! The entire event was executed with such excellence. They provided awesome goody bags, a delicious organic lunch, and sevel yummy healthy snacks like smoked salmon, homemade nut mixes, and juices. The name of the Lord was lifted up, & I believe people left empowered to take control of their health.

I have been on my health journey for a while & am already familiar with several of the things they shared, but my mind is still blown every time I go to something like this. I wanted to pass along a few notes i took:

- in 1900, only 5% of the population had cancer. In 2016, that number rose to 40%.
- United States had over 600,000 cancer related deaths last year and 1.7 million diagnosed.
- The most consumed “vegetables” in America are french fries, onion rings, and ketchup.
-nutrition should be frontline therapy in cancer patients but unfortunately it's rarely discussed. Most oncologists have zero training in nutrition.
- The average American consumes 150 pounds of refined sugar a year.
- every cell in your body is eavesdropping on your thoughts. It matters what you think.
- you cannot be grateful and unhappy at the same time.
- your genetics make up a very small portion of your chances for been diagnosed with cancer. Your epigenetics play a much bigger role.
- ballroom dancing lowers risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 73%.
-1 out of every 3 Americans will get cancer. Only 1 out of every 7active Americans will get cancer.
- our toxins are expelled through our urine, feces, liver, and sweat. Stop using anti-perspirant and allow your body to sweat!
- What factors most affect our overall health and chances for cancer? Exercise, detox, nutrition, microbiome, attitude, & energy. Small portion is genetics.
- as a nation, we are eating TOO much, TOO often, & the WRONG food!
- intermittent fasting helps prevent cognitive decline and insulin resistance. “it’s not just the notes, but the space between the notes that matters.”
- The typical Western diet is fertilizer for cancer cells.
- 92% of Americans don’t even get the RDA of vitamins, which is an extremely low standard for nutrition.
- Our soil has 80% less minerals than it did in earlier years because of soil degradation.
- during the first eight hours of fasting, the body goes into the glycogen stores. The next four hours it starts burning fat. you want to shoot for going past 12 hours (14-16) because the body starts burning fat past 12 hours.
- 10 PM to 2 AM is when the body ideally heals. You want to be asleep during this time.
- fasting expresses our hunger for God. It says “God, I desire you above all things.”
- if fasting stresses you out, don’t do it. It is more important to not be overwhelmed with stress, which has extremely negative impact on your overall health.
- is it fasting from food or is it FEAST with Jesus?
-you can inherit up to three generations of trauma.
* note to self, order Shaping a Christian family by Elizabeth Elliott ❤️
- know your purpose: your what, what for, your why, and your how.
- They shared some really interesting connections Between emotional hurts and various types of cancer. Example, prostate cancer can often be linked to worrying about future generations or the loss of a child. And breast cancer, right side is many times as tide to father issues in the left side is tied to maternal issues.
- unforgiveness, bitterness, guilt, etc can often manifest in the form of health issues.
- The Bible says “my people perish for lack of knowledge.”
- The fuel you put into your body affects the way that it runs. You wouldn't put sugar in your fuel tank and expect it to run. And then when it breaks down, you don't just completely remove the fuel tank, right?
-You are ridiculously in control of your health and your LIFE!!
-you have options. Cancer does not have to be a death sentence. Most cancers are slow growing and you have time to research and make a decision.
-We all have cancer cells. We are either feeding or starving them based on our lifestyle choices. Our bodies should be able to combat unhealthy cancer cells.
- there is healing power in MUSIC!
- laughter really is medicine for the soul and adds years to your life.
- if you’re not already juicing, start ASAP.

Whether you are on a healing journey, standing in the gap for a loved one who is, or focused on prevention and taking the best possible care of your family (like me), you’ll want to pay the $25 to get access to this recording of the day. And take notes!!

I cannot stand to watch ONE MORE PERSON lose their life too soon to this disease, & I hope you’ll join me in helping spread awareness.

Healing Strong Live Stream Replay

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Tips for Helping Kids Eat Healthier

"The most comprehensive survey done on this topic, a University of Michigan report that examined how American children spent their time between 1981 and 1997, discovered that the amount of time children spent eating meals at home was the single biggest predictor of better academic achievement and fewer behavioral problems. Mealtime was more influential than time spent in school, studying, attending religious services, or playing sports." - The Secrets of Happy Families

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Wow. I know we lead busy lives, but that is powerful. Mealtimes are so important, but so many times it can feel like a struggle. “What do I make? I don’t have time to cook! My kids won’t eat anything I make! Healthy food is so expensive!”

I’ve heard all of those a million times…and probably said them myself a few times too! I don’t have all the answers, but I hope to at least offer a few tips/suggestions. Some are tried & true in the Butler house, and some are brand new ideas we are going to work on.

Wives+ mamas, we are the nutritional gatekeepers of our home. Instead of viewing that as a burden, we have to shift our perspective and look at that as an awesome responsibility! We can choose to make it a journey rather than something that overwhelms or annoys us. Our attitude in how we approach our family’s nutrition makes all the difference! And if there is anything I know about nutrition, it is one of the most powerful aspects we can control regarding our health and the health of our children.

Did you know…this is the first generation of kids not expected to outlive their parents?? As in, if we don’t make some changes, we will be burying our children some day. (I know that sounds dark, but it is our sad reality and sometimes I think you have to share something in a way like that to understand the severity of the issue.) I don’t know about you, but I assume you are probably with me on this…I am just NOT.OKAY with that statistic. Friends, we have to do better. When we know better, we do better. And that doesn’t mean it’s easy, but there aren’t many greater investments we can make.  It is worthy of our best time and attention.

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I recently listened to an awesome lecture from an expert in this area (which I certainly am NOT), so I wanted to pass along some of the tips I heard from her that I plan to start implementing (as well as I few I already do & some AWESOME tips from wise mamas in our Healthy Mama/Healthy Kiddo Hacks FB group!).

Tips for getting kiddos to eat healthier:
1. Involve them! Of course this isn’t a guarantee, but studies show they’re at least more likely to eat it if they have a hand in preparing it. Involve them in the whole process. Planning, shopping, prepping, cooking, seasoning. Takes longer, a little messier, but LOTS of benefits! Quality time + they’re learning + more likely to eat it.

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2. Sneak it in. Try veggie noodles. Add veggies to muffins, omelets, stews/soups, casseroles, etc.

3. Smoothies & juice! My kids love to help with both of these & it’s a great way to get in some great foods they wouldn’t ordinarily eat.

4. Offer it every time. Maybe you offer something 30 times & the 31st time they actually try it! Maybe it takes 60 times, but they end up loving collard greens or spinach salad or kale chips on the 61st time? Keep offering! Again, not a guarantee, but worth the effort to offer it.

5. Be the example. Eat healthy yourself & talk about enjoying healthy foods. Talk to your kids about how much better you feel when you eat nutritious foods! We can enjoy treats, but not all the time because they can make us feel yucky.

6. “Smell/lick/taste.” When offering something new, give them the option to either smell, lick, or taste the food.

7. Choose your battles. You cannot force a child to chew and swallow, so this is a power struggle you could potentially lose. Make sure you don’t make that mistake. At 3ish, kids are testing boundaries just for the sake of testing them. Just keep that in mind.

8. Don’t be a short order cook. Don’t make them separate “kid foods” or they’ll always be a picky eater. But, you can still give them options and let them take ownership. For example, when we make homemade pizzas, they choose what toppings they want.

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9. Watch out offering snacks too close to meal time. (Or after a meal time if they chose not to eat what you made.) They’re more likely to eat whatever you give them when they’re really hungry.

10. Offer the healthiest stuff first. Sometimes I’ll chop veggies & set them out with Greek yogurt ranch or sliced apple wedges or a puréed soup for them to snack on while I’m finishing up dinner.

11. Make homemade treats. I don’t believe in depriving your children, but i can make a homemade version of something & it is MUCH healthier that way!! Homemade pancakes, muffins, protein bites, cookies, etc. I let them help me too. They take so much pride in it & love to Share what they make with others.

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12. They don’t know what they don’t know, so hold off on the junk as long as possible. It can change their taste buds. I will never forget that Jase did not want cake on his first birthday because he’d never had anything with sugar. Clearly I ran a tighter ship when I just had one…Ha!

13. Give family members healthy options/suggestions. This is probably the toughest scenario because many loved ones (especially grandparents) like to show love through treats. I don’t want to be a dictator, so i just try to make sure they eat as healthy as possible during the time they are with me. Could I stand my ground and win that battle? Sure. But my husband and I (mostly him) agreed it’s better to just ride it out. Still, there are some things I do have to watch. When my oldest has too many grains/sugar or my littlest has too much dairy, I see asthma + eczema flair. My husband has too, so he is more on board now with trying to guard that. Anyway, if you just give them some ideas for healthier options, they’re usually very happy to comply and still feel like they’re spoiling them!

14. Really focus on good fats!! Very, very important for developing brains!!

 

15. Many kiddos have slight allergies to gluten. Try to eat real, whole foods as often as possible. (Also, our littles’ digestive systems are NOT able to digest grains the way adults are, and this is one of the reasons I do not give rice cereal or oatmeal in a bottle. We prefer Baby Led Weaning, but you definitely want to read the book before pursuing this method.) We make our own bread too usually so I just leave the gluten out.

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16. Kids are supposed to have less than 25 g of sugar a day. Many kids are getting this all at breakfast! Make sure they’re not drinking their sugar allowance either. (Sports drinks, soft drinks, many juice boxes, lemonade, etc. are all PACKED with sugar!)

17. I have my kiddos sit at the table to eat. Not in front of a tv or tablet. I want them to know their hunger cues. I don’t make them clean their plate, but i do sometimes encourage them to take “one more bite” or two more bites of something.

18. Try different ways of preparing a particular food. Kale salad...baked kale chips...sautéed kale...kale & banana smoothies. You might find they like it prepared one way but won’t touch it another way. My boys LOVE sweet potatos & kale baked in this way, but sauteed kale or even a baked sweet potato? Prob not happening!

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19. Offer the food buffet style and let them make their own plate. Have them choose one of everything, and at least try everything before allowing seconds.

20. Have them help set the table.

21. Eat outside!

22. Try the "love it, like it, learning it" approach where you eliminate saying we don't like it & rather saying it's a “learning it” food.

23. Be sure to offer something familiar too when you’re offering a new dish.

24. Try shopping at a Farmer’s Market, local farm, and Aldi. I also LOVE Thrive Market & save a ton there!

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25. When eating out, choose the healthiest options you can find. We like Moe’s/Chipolte, Zoe’s, Taziki’s, Natural Juice Cafe, & Panera.

26. Avoid transferring preferences or making assumptions about what they might like/dislike! For example, just because I HATE olives (gag!) doesn’t mean my kiddos will. Still offer it, let them try it, and don’t talk about how much I hate olives in front of them.

27. Make your food FLAVORFUL!! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be bland. Add lots of herbs/spices, healthy salt, quality butter, etc.

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28. Try giving them a dip! My boys will eat almost any veggie if they can dip it in Greek yogurt ranch. You can get creative here, but try offering a dip.

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29. Don’t get all cray about the mess. Let them make memories with you in the kitchen, and make it a JOYFUL time! Crank up some Pandora. Laugh with your babies. Double check their measuring. Winking smile 

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**Unrelated, but I also have them ask to be excused before they get up, and they put their plate/utensils in the sink. Teach em young, right? Raising great adults!

Best advice I’ve got- start small. Choose something from the list you can start with, and just do that. Believe it or not, I am not as hard core as you might think. i just can’t control everything and it’s not worth stressing over, so I do the best I can as often as I can. I do consider it a responsibility though, so I do try to be conscientious and mindful of what I’m feeding my family. I am always seeking to learn in this area so I can make it a part of my normal life & routine (and don’t even have to think about it anymore.)

**One more last minute tip to save you time/money & it is DELISH!!

Here’s how i kill several birds with one stone. (Punny, right??) Cook one whole organic chicken (from trusted source) in crockpot. I love this Bragg’s seasoning because it adds so much flavor! I also add organic carrots & celery about 1.5 hours before it’s done.) Then I use 1/2 the meat for dinner one night, and use the rest to make chicken noodle soup or chicken & rice (with organic Sprouted rice from Thrive Market) for the next night. I also use the bones (2x) to make homemade bone broth. **Watch for bones when pulling the chicken apart.

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Friday, September 14, 2018

The B-I-B-L-E

I was talking to a friend the other day about the best selling book of ALL time & wanted to share some of these “fun facts.”

There are actually over 100 million copies of this book sold each year, and many households report having 3-4 in their home.

Yes- I’m talking about the Bible. This has been my Bible for the last 11 years and it is one of my greatest treasures.

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There are 66 books in the Bible. There are two main divisions- Old Testament (made up of 39 books), which was written before Jesus’ life on earth, & the New Testament (made up of 27 books), which were written after Jesus’ life, ministry, death, & resurrection. These books were written by approximately 40 men over a 1600 year span (from 1500 BC to 100 AD). The books of the New Testament were written within 100 years of Christ’s death by disciples…Men who knew/encountered Jesus or served closely with him. There was also a 400 year time frame between the OT and NT where they didn’t hear from God (often referred to as the years of silence)until the angel spoke to Mary.

40 different authors /writers...from all different backgrounds...over a 1600 year time period...and the theme is the same throughout. It is SO powerful seeing prophecies fulfilled, & I don’t see any other explanation besides “Well that was God.” (If you’ve never read John Bevere’s book called “Good or God,” I think it’s chapter 4 ? that has some really fascinating thoughts on the “chances” & probabilities of the specific details of those prophecies actually being fulfilled in the way they were...mind boggling numbers/statistics that I believe can only point you back to Jesus.)

There are 8 major themes of the Bible.
1. Creation
2. Brokenness
3. Promises
4. Redemption
5. Law
6. Rebellion
7. Grace
8. Eternity

Most of the Bible is not organized chronologically, but rather grouped by like kind. The first five books of the Old Testament are the “Books of the Law.” The next 12 books (Esther - Job) are “history books” known as narratives. Job is considered by many to be a “wisdom book” & Psalms through Song of Solomon are the “poetry books.” Isaiah through Malachi are “the prophets.” The first 5 (Isaiah - Daniel) being considered ‘major prophets’ and final 12 books in the OT (Hosea - Malachi) referred to as the ‘minor prophets.’

In the NT, the first four books are “the gospels.” Matthew was written thematically, & Mark, Luke & John were written chronologically. The book of Acts is considered a “history book,” and the book of Romans begins the letters/epistles. Revelation is the 27th book of the New Testament, and definitely one of its own kind...a book of prophecy.

Here are a few of my favorite verses about the Word of God.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” - 2 Tim 3:16

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” - Isaiah 40:8

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” - Psalm 119:105

The Bible is transformative when you apply it in your life. The Word never returns void. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read a particular verse or passage...God always has something new to show us. It won’t change us if we are simply a ‘hearer of the word’ thorough...because that is just ink on pages. The power lies when we allow the Lord to speak to us, mature us, and mold & shape our hearts & as we become ‘doers of the Word.’

I am so grateful to have the freedom to be able to freely read & study my Bible. And my prayer is the the Lord gives us all an overwhelming hunger & desire to study it, meditate on & pray the Scriptures over our lives, and learn the character of God so we can become more like him. It is SO rich, so interesting, & so powerful. It is the best “self help,” inspirational, parenting, finance, work, marriage, leadership book there is. It has a remedy for every ailment, and a solution for every issue. Yes, even though times are different, we can still apply the wisdom of this book. If we will just FOLLOW it, He gives us the equation for “success.”

What a gift He has given us in His Word!! There is just nothing like it.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

What’s In Your Cup?

Love this analogy. I needed to hear this today and I thought someone else might, too.

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You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee?

"Well because someone bumped into me, of course!"

Wrong answer.

You spilled the coffee because there was COFFEE IN YOUR CUP.

Had there been tea in the cup, you would have SPILLED TEA.

*Whatever is INSIDE your cup is what will spill out.*

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you WILL come out. It's easy to fake it, until you get rattled.

*So we have to ask ourselves... “What's in my cup?"

When life gets tough, what spills over?
Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility?
Or anger, bitterness, harsh words and reactions?

You choose!

Today let's work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation; and kindness, gentleness and love for others.

Being Offended

{My sweet friend Christi Johnson shared this and it was just too powerful not to pass along. I have seen so much destruction happen as a result of people being offended and acting on it. It’s at the root of many broken relationships & arguments. I truly belivee it is a tool in the enemy’s toolbelt to cause division. While we should never be seeking to purposely offend people, I think it’s even more important to focus on how we respond when we feel offended. This is an area where the Lord has matured me tremendously, and I am so thankful for His work in my life in this area. Of course we have never “arrived,” so I am still working and this was such a great reminder for me. Hope it is for you too!}

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OFFENSE

Every day, we are presented with multiple opportunities to get offended. It can be as minor as someone cutting us off in traffic or stealing our parking spot. Other times we can feel deeply hurt by a friend's rude or harsh comment.

What many people don't know is that offense is one of Satan's greatest tools to steal our peace and rob us of God's blessings.
The word "offense" comes from the Greek word scandalon. It is an interesting word that literally describes a trap used to hold bait in order to lure animals.

Similarly, offense is the bait the enemy uses to trap us. He will use people's words and actions to get our minds churning and stir up our emotions. He uses this bait to lure us into a lifetime of bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, strife, hatred and revenge.

I often say that Satan sets us up to get us upset. He knows our weaknesses and what buttons to push to send us over the edge.
The good news is we are smarter than our enemy because we have the mind of Christ! (See 1 Corinthians 2:16.) We can know the truth of God's Word and don't have to take his bait.
In other words, when somebody tries to give you offense, you decide whether you take it or not.

You may be thinking, Christi, it's so hard not to take offense sometimes! I understand how you feel, but we can refuse to be offended because God gives us self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). This means we can control ourselves with God's help and take responsibility for how we respond to life's situations.

It's easy to deflect our problems and place the responsibility on someone else, thinking, If you didn't upset me, then I wouldn't feel this way or If you would just do this, then I would be happy.

But the truth is we will never be free from any problem as long as we're blaming somebody else. I'm not saying other people don't do anything wrong; however, we can't control what everyone else does, but we can choose how we are going to react!

First Corinthians 13:5 says love "is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs" (NIV). Love is a choice! I can choose to forgive and let it go, or I can hold on to the offense and let the hurt turn into something even worse.

For example, sometimes an offense starts out like a paper cut. It's seemingly small, but if you don't take care of it properly, it can begin to fester. In time, it can become infected and cause you a lot of pain.
I can tell you from experience that it's so much better to take care of a problem when it's little. It's good to address it as quickly as possible before it has an opportunity to take root and turn into something more serious.
I've learned that the quicker I can forgive somebody, the easier it's going to be. Sometimes this means being the first one to apologize and make peace — even if it's not my fault!

However, the more we do the right thing, the easier it gets. The quicker I forgive others and get rid of any offense, the more peace I have in my life. After a while, you realize that staying offended doesn't change other people or solve your problems — it only makes you bitter and angry.

I often say that staying mad at someone who has hurt you is like taking poison and hoping your enemy will die. You don't hurt them at all — you only hurt yourself!

Psalm 34:14 tells us to "seek peace and pursue it" (NIV). I've learned over the years (many times the hard way) just how valuable God's supernatural peace really is.


Now, I absolutely refuse to live without it!
It is so much greater than living with the toxic results of holding unforgiveness in my heart.

Opportunities to be offended will never go away, but we can grow wise to the enemy's tactics and learn how to respond in a godly way.

So, the next time you are tempted to be offended, don't take the bait!

Always remember that you have a choice. You can choose to be angry and bitter ... or you can decide to forgive, believe the best of others, and enjoy God's supernatural peace.

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

“Bye Bye Belly” Challenge

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I put a feeler out on FB & Insta, and welllll....looks like we have LOTS of folks interested in our "Bye Bye Belly" challenge! (We actually have several that have joined already!

Visceral fat (the fat around your midsection) is some of the most dangerous for our overall health & a problem area for lots of folks. There are countless studies supporting how belly fat increases our risk for MANY diseases & illnesses, particularly because it is so close to so many of our most important internal organs. While you can't necessarily spot target an area to lose weight, we have a simple product + eating plan that is flat out getting results and helping people lose body fat all over, and they are seeing their mid-section shrink as a result. This has been piloted & the results are seriously MIND blowing. People are trimming their waist & losing major inches...saying “bye bye belly.” (which improves all over health!)

If you want to know more, check out this FB group. I'm going live later in here to share alllll the deets: the why, the what, the price breakdown, what it includes, more info about the eating plan, etc.

Just request to join: One80 in 2018

We also have a drawing for a $200 cash giveaway for anyone who joins us by the 21st. Our group is kicking off on Sept 4th, but our FB is already live for those who have ordered and e-mailed in their confirmation! We are SO excited to coach the next group through this! Simple, affordable, and best of all…REAL RESULTS.

FAVOR in Obedience

The more obedient I am to what God has called me to, the happier I am.

Is it always comfortable? Is it always what I “want” to do? Does it mean life is perfect & without trials? NO.

But I firmly believe personal “happiness” is tied strongly to obedience.

For the record, I believe God is more concerned with our holiness & shaping us to be more like him than he is our “happiness.” I also believe we can have JOY that comes from the Lord even when our circumstances aren’t necessarily “happy." But I do believe God wants us to live an abundant life (John 10:10) that far exceeds all we could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

We see over and over in the Bible how God rewards those who are obedient. He is faithful, and He blesses those who are faithful in return with His favor. There are countless Biblical examples. Abraham, Noah, Moses, Job, David, Daniel, Sarah, Hannah…the list goes on. If you want a modern day example, take a look at Chik-Fil-A. The restaurant, which closes on Sundays so employees can go to church and spend time with family, generates more revenue than all other fast food restaurants (including McDonald’s) that are open 7 days a week. There are all kinds of speculations about WHY this is, but want to know the real answer? FAVOR.

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Favor from the Lord. I’m sure most “business experts” think that’s crazy and advised against it. But Truett Cathy’s decision to stand firm & follow the Lord, even if it wasn’t popular, led to massive success. Because God honors obedience.

We don’t like to talk about it, but there are consequences for sin and disobedience, which usually come in the form of circumstances that make us “feel unhappy.” Many times we blame God or question if he’s really there, when in fact we should really be looking in the mirror for who is responsible. A wise Sunday School teacher once taught us that “disobedience hurts.” Ever seen a mom tell her kiddo to stop doing something, the kid not listen, and end up getting hurt? Picture it. A little boy running around the swimming pool. Mom: “Stop running. You’re going to get hurt!” Kid: continues running. Slips, falls, busts his head. DISOBEDIENCE hurts.

Now think about that in life circumstances. Know someone who married someone God did not intend for them to marry? Everyone in their life warned them against it, but he/she was soooo “in love” they did it anyway? There is a big chance all those red flags continued to unfold, and now that person is unhappy in marriage or even divorced. Is it God’s fault that person didn’t seek the Lord? Or someone who spent a LOT of money buying something that felt good in the moment, but is now spending a lifetime of regret attempting to pay off the debt, and absolutely miserable? (These are just examples. It doesn’t always happen this way, of course.)

No, this doesn’t mean that life is going to be perfect and that we’re never going to have trials... because we are. But If you want his hand and his anointing on you...then you must walk in obedience.

His Word is not a list of rules preventing us from having any fun. It’s boundaries set in place to protect us from harm. Because He can see things we cannot see, and doing things HIS way are far better than doing things OUR way. There is such reward in obedience. And we have way more control over our circumstances than we realize. I don’t always get this right, but praise the Lord I am learning! I have spent way too much time suffering consequences that resulted from my own disobedience. I’m grateful I’m finally mature enough to take personal responsibility and ownership. (There is so much freedom in that actually. No blaming, making excuses, etc. Just owning it.) The seeds we plant now will result in the fruits we eat later. Choose to obey the Word of God! His promises are real & so, so sweet.

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