My Name is Joy

I recently took a silly quiz on Facebook, you know the ones I’m talking about:

-What’s your superhero name?

-What’s your emotional IQ?

Yeah, you know the ones…

Well, I can’t remember what female celebrity I was trying to figure out I was most like, but one of the questions on the quiz made me pause. I even clicked my answer, moved to the next and couldn’t get it out of my mind. You see, when I take quiz’s like that, I try not to “help” predict my answer. I try to go with my initial gut reaction. (i.e. If you could choose between skydiving over the ocean and ziplining through the forest which would you prefer?) I would just immediately click the one that jumped at me first. So, back to “the answer”. The question that I haven’t been able to shake for about a week now was, “If you could have  more of anything in your life, what would it be?” They had about 4 choices: Joy, Harmony, Peace, and Love. Immediately, all I was feeling was JOY. “Joy? Why Joy?” I asked myself. “I’m really happy with my life.” I began to second guess. Without pause, I heard the Lord say, “Happiness and Joy are two different things. They go together as part of a whole, but they are two different things…”

Here I am a week later and what do I have to say today? Well, I’ve not been able to stop mulling over this one truth: Happiness and Joy are two different things. It’s like a seed was planted that day and a week later, I’m realizing how much I have mistaken being happy for having true Joy. Unspeakable Joy! The kind of Joy that becomes part of your identity, just like your name. So what is Joy? Merriam-Webster defines it as “A source or cause for great happiness; a source or cause of delight”. To me what was a little sad, however, was that it was mixed in with things like this : ” the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.” First lesson this taught me? You won’t find what true Joy is in Merriam-Websters dictionary.

I began to see that the world has a glimpse of what Joy means. But unfortunately, the world hasn’t fully come to understand true Joy. Hence, definition number two that followed. Well, what does my Heavenly Father have to say about Joy?

We see in Galations 5:22 that the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. We also see in Nehemiah 8:10, “The JOY of the Lord is our strength.” Ok, I began to ask myself, “Why strength?” Why isn’t it ,”The Joy of the Lord is our peace?” Or, “The Joy of the Lord is our Love?”  Because, here is the journey He is taking me on:

Every good and perfect gift comes from him. He doesn’t just HAVE every good and perfect gift, He IS every good and perfect gift. It is His identity and when I stepped into his eternal family and asked him to live inside me….HA there it is! Joy isn’t just happiness but it is the root from which happiness leaves sprout. Joy is part of who I am so much, that even in moments throughout my life where there will be sadness, will be anger, will be struggle, that I have a knowing deep down that happiness still follows me. Where my heart and spirit are always pointed toward what is good. Joy isn’t just happiness. It’s happiness that stays and abides in me. It’s a pattern of living, not a moment I have.

What can Joy do for you?

Well let’s see what true, abiding, deep-seeded Joy does:

-It keeps you from being easily offended.

It’s hard to offend someone who lives from a place of Joy. Why? Because it’s their strength. They let negativity, resentment, and insults roll of them. They could care less. Half of the time I don’t even think they notice insults. Their Joy is so much a part of them that it would take a whole lot more than a negative arrow to strike them down. Let’s be honest, if anyone is affected, it’s the person shooting the arrows. Why? Because Joy is so contagious, for one. It gets on them and pierces them stronger than any arrows flying at them. And because of that, there’s a place where the person spewing negativity is projecting it because deep down, they want to feel the way you feel. They want to know how you can go through the every day and the moments that suck, and still find a reason to sing. Unfortunately, a lot of times, their first choice isn’t to band together with you. It’s pushing against you because of jealousy, fear, resentment, and just plain not understanding. The only thing they understand in that moment is that it hits a nerve. I will be the first to admit that there was a time in my life where super happy and joyful people annoyed the crap out of me. I would find myself cringing everytime someone flashed that chipper grin or someone I never saw have a bad day give or take 20% of the time. Seriously? They are delusional, I would think to myself. And while yes, there are people who hind behind a fake sense of happiness because they are afraid to open up and be real, I am not talking about those people. I am talking about the people who ARE realistic about moments in their life that bring pain, bring anger, bring sadness, aren’t afraid to show it, handle it, make steps to deal with, but that ALWAYS contain JOY! They know, deep down, that sorrow may last for the night, but JOY comes in the morning! It’s a pattern of living that strengthens and keeps you ready, willing, and able to deal with whatever comes your way.

-It produces so much fruit

When I looked at the choices–joy, harmony, peace, love–I thought to myself, if I lived from a place of Joy, than harmony, peace, and love has no choice BUT to follow. I can be content in whatever comes (peace), I am able to see myself and others the way God sees them no matter how they act (love), and in turn, I am able to find something good in every situation (harmony).

I can say that today, I am on a journey. From the minute I clicked that one silly quiz, a seed was planted and a tree is beginning to grow for maybe the first time in my life. I find myself more optimistic about things than I ever did, in spite of things around me that AREN’T changing. No longer will I just have “moments” of happiness, but I will have Joy. Unspeakable Joy. A Joy that I can access anytime through the Father because He is inside me! A Joy that will never run dry but will water the dry places in my life, even when I can’t feel or see it. a Joy that is just as much a part of me as my own name!

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart-WHERE? Down in my heart-WHERE? Down in my heart. I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart-WHERE? Down in my heart TO STAY!”

 

Lost in Black & White

There is a quote that says, “No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.”

This I find to be so true! Me and my husband love to read. One of our new found favorite “mini” dates is getting in the car after work and heading to the library. It’s like an exciting adventure to see what we can come away with. No lie, I feel quite intimidated when I go with him though. He’s is a machine in a library. He meets me all in a time span of about ten minutes with at least three large books, and then proceeds to show me about five more that he already has on his mental “what to read next” list. Oh, and don’t let me forget he’s already on the library website requesting new reads to come in from other libraries through this system called the “inter-library loan”. On top of that, he is the most diverse reader I’ve ever met. He is a history major so he’s always got some kind of historical novel in there, but then he will have a scientific fantasy novel and then a book about Abraham Lincoln being a vampire or something like that. I believe that is why he is so smart, he never puts boundaries on himself when he reads. Do you see what I mean? Intimidating… This is a guy who reads a 350 page book in a day–not kidding. Meanwhile, he says, “What did you find?” I timidly hold up the latest little Nicholas Sparks novel I haven’t read yet (yeah just one), and you bet your sweet speed-reading hiney I will probably take the full three week time limit to read it. Hey , it’s just the way we are, but all our reading differences aside, we share the same love of reading and it’s become one of our favorite things to go do together.

I say I only read one book at a time, and normally I do, but pregnancy changes a lot of things. It wasn’t until I started compiling my list to share with you that I realized I’m literally reading all of these right now. Uh oh folks, she’s getting cool!

I’m going to share my latest reads from spiritual reading to even pregnancy reading and give you a little review on what I think. If you’re looking for your next “good read”, I hope to inspire you. And for all the soon-to-be mommies out there, we go into like crazy new mom mode trying to read up on everything before little one gets here, so hopefully you find some inspiration as well.

Enjoy your day friends!

First book on our list:

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This book will blow your mind! So often we look at books that talk about forgiveness and walk the other way because we’ve heard all the religious spiritual ritual before. I’m here to tell you that this book gets to the heart where forgiveness can freely flow, and THAT’S the truth of forgiveness. Learning to free our own hearts from the ice prison we’ve locked it in is just the first step. This is a magnificent read! Go pick it up.

Next:

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Blessing Your Spirit by Arthur Burke is such an amazing book. They are daily Spirit blessing you read over your spirit to bring it to life. If you’ve never done spirit blessings, let me tell you that they are amazing. We have the authority to call our spirit to attention and speak life into it. Every day has a new area to bless your spirit in, and I love the depth at which he calls our spirits forth. You will feel the daily difference. It’s amazing!

And next:

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The Healing Codes is for any of you who believe like I do–God and science aren’t separate. God created all things and said they were good. He is in science and every health related issue is related across the board to every other issue in our life. This book shows that truly every little ailment all the way to cancer has a root source to stress and stress alone. Not the surface level stress we experience on a daily basis, but because of surface level stress or trauma, or emotional pain left unresolved sends our nervous system shutting down and before you know it–too much pressure on any one area untreated for too long is bound to break. He tells about how, on a plane home from a medical seminar, he was crying out to God for a way to heal his wife from severe bi-polar depression for the majority of their marriage. Nothing worked, medicine, nothing. God encountered him, gave him a scientific download. He got home and used the healing codes on her and she hasn’t taken another prescription drug since. His co-author, ailed with a a fatal disease–healed because of the healing codes. Some people don’t believe the way I do, and that’s okay. But, I believe that God and science are one in the same. If he created my entire being and its functions, and he created ALL things–that’s what the Word says–then when I chose to follow Jesus, I didn’t just choose to believe a little of Him. I believe in all and all of Him! I’ve said this before, but Christians get so weird about meditation and things that other cultures are tapping into. They put a demonic label on it and never choose to look at the fact that, while these cultures are using these things to worship other gods or make them their gods and (we don’t believe that stuff), that God created all things. But we’ve put limits on it and these cultures haven’t. They are brave enough to reach out into the earth that OUR God created and embrace all of it. I’m amazed and saddened at what we have shut ourselves down to that is our territory in the first place. Satan has no original thought. He can only take what God created FIRST and counterfeit it. When I go to yoga, for instance, and see parts of the Healing Codes being applied and knowing the yogis/Hindus have been doing this for centuries, I’m truly saddened by the number of Christian people who refuse to believe that our God did this first and that, had we just taken what’s rightfully ours in the kingdom, could have been experiencing all of this before now. Well, I believe it. You may not, and that’s your prerogative, but if you believe this way and love health, fitness, and Jesus as much as I do–read this book. I’m not finished with it yet, but everything I’ve read is SO good!

download

I just finished this Nicholas Sparks book. Huge fan–I know so girly–WHATEVER! Have to say, it wasn’t my favorite of all his books so far, but one can hardly complain because even though it wasn’t in my “top”, it’s still so good. He’s just that great!

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And currently haven’t even finished the first chapter of this yet, but I read her book beach girls and watched the show based off that book–loved it. So, this is my current read and I’m excited to see what it’s like.

OK, that’s it for just regular reading. Now onto pregnancy reads.

First up:

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Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize–AMAZING! Short and sweet-childbirth does not have to be pain. It talks about living in the New Covenant and not the Old. Pain in childbirth is under the curse of the Old Testament law and that when Jesus died, he restored the standard. YAY! It’s a faith building book that teaches you how to build your faith when it comes to believing for children after miscarriage onto healthy pregnancies, healthy deliveries, and healthy babies. The author was told she would never conceive and she has four beautiful children because she chose to believe the word of the Lord instead. It’s practical and realistic, but it’s also standing on God’s word and believing for your portion and inheritance that He’s given to us through the death of His son. Truly amazing book.

The little book with it is called Prayers and Promises, is from the same author and it is just that-prayers and promises. It’s scripture promises from the word of God and prayers they have in their that you read over yourself and stand on. Really awesome. I recommend it with the book.

And of course, you can’t be pregnant without having the holy grale of pregnancy books:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

This is just great and most everyone knows what this is. I will say that I take parts of this book with a grain of salt and I’ve even chosen to not even read some areas because either they are too fear based or I know they aren’t good things to fill my spirit with–meaning, as I said above, so much is under the curse and it’s not my inheritance. So, while I’m building my faith in the areas that are truth and life-giving, I’m not going to read all the “You could have this and this and ya-da ya-da ya-da…” Just as with everything–take the meat and spit out the sticks.

On Becoming Baby Wise:

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Haven’t started this yet, but I’ve heard overall really good things about it. Again, I’ve heard there are some sticks you have to throw out but that, for the most part, it’s a great book that covers topics on feeding philosophies, hunger and sleep cycles, and helping babies establish routines. I’m all about that. I’ve watched too many children at the age of four and six throwing fits when their parents say the word “bedtime” and that’s ridiculous in my opinion. Or still sleeping with mommy and daddy, or barging in the bedroom. Boundaries people. We all need them and children actually want them. It’s healthy to grow a self-sufficient human being. A good friend of mine did a church led version of this, and she said something that’s stuck with me from this method. It was that the parents bedroom is sacred and that while you’re children should always feel safe to come to you, they need to understand they just don’t have the right to barge in, especially if the door is closed. This is so true. Keeping healthy boundaries is an essential and beneficial part of life. While it will be a while before little one is old enough to think about barging in on mommy and daddy, discipline doesn’t happen overnight and this book is supposed to teach you how to put little things in motion at each stage that they are at while still supplying and nurturing their needs.

*If you’ve read this book, give me your feedback. I’d like to hear it. The two featured here are birth to a year I think, and then book two is 1-5 years.

Last but CERTAINLY not least:

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Remember the Spirit blessings book? Well, this is actually a 3 CD version called Baby Blessings. Each CD is filled with a plethora of different spirit blessings. Pop them in and he calls your baby’s spirit to attention in the womb in the name of Jesus and begins blessings over your little one that are truly outrageous! Some of the things he prays I remember thinking, “Whoa!” The revelation and the depth of each prayer are things half of us haven’t even thought of to pray. He received the download from the Father on what to pray and because of that, and just by me agreeing in the spirit, I’ve even received amazing downloads from these CD’s. That’s what’s so beautiful about it–you and your baby are one at this time, so things you receive are transferred to your baby and vice versa. It’s such an intimate and supernatural experience. HIGHLY recommend!

As for one more category of “reads”, I want to feature my online reading. Hence, I want to feature a blog. My sister’s blog actually. She’s an amazing entrepreneur, wife, homemaker, and just about anything under the sun you can think of. She’s basically awesome and I think you’ll really enjoy her blog. She’s doing a Fall Foodie Challenge right now that you should get in on. Twenty days to send her your easy and healthy Fall recipe favorites and she will feature one of them a day on her blog. At the end of 20 days, you will have printables of every recipe that was turned in. The holidays don’t have to be a waistline killer, but we are both foodies and don’t want to sacrifice taste either. We LOVE to eat! Anyway, here is the link to her blog–check it out!

http://shelbyehomemaker.wordpress.com/

And stay tuned…my next blog will be my favorite healthy Fall dessert recipe!

Toning up your Soul ☮ {the spiritual side of lunges}

As many of you know I am a huge fitness and health fanatic! I follow a community and trainers called Tone It Up. They have inspired me to be even healthier than I already was from the inside–out. Everything works together, challenging your body physically, but also through meditation and challenging your body to be still. I do believe in meditation. I’m not new age or anything, but the Lord talks about meditating on Him and on the word. Yoga is one thing I absolutely love. As you meditate and you find that still place beside still waters, not only are you challenging your organs, muscles, joints, and Central Nervous System to “rest”, but you are able to hear clearly what the Lord wants for your life. That is my passion…to bring that to other people.  This post was the word of the Lord for me last August 2012 and I found it hidden in some Facebook notes today. I saw it on the TIU blog from a lady who is the founder of Tiny Devotions (a Mala bead company) and affiliated with the founders of Tone it Up so I take no credit for this post, but thought maybe it would speak to some of you as it did me. Have a wonderful day!

P.S. Be on the lookout for some quick, easy, and healthy recipes for your weeknights. 🙂

 

 

Toning up your Soul ☮

{the spiritual side of lunges}

 

What I was most surprised and impressed about after hanging out with my girls K and K for a day was not their beautiful faces and rockin’ hard bodies (I was expecting that). It was actually their inner beauty and their rockin’ souls.

Karena and Katrina are the real deal and you can tell by peeking into their lives for a few hours or even by watching one of their youtube videos that they are world class manifestors. {the make it happen, live your dreams kind of gals}

I really should not have been surprised because Karena and Katrina radiate love, inspiration, light, joy, peace and give so much to the universe that all of the energy they put out comes back to them in the form of their most amazing TIU community. They manifested you and me as TIU members! And, we are aligned with their values and were looking for them – so we manifested them too 😉 A match made in manifestation heaven!

I believe that manifesting begins with the body. Our body is our vehicle here on earth and although we don’t have control over what life throws at us – we have control over what we eat and what we do with our bodies on a day to day basis.

Now, I don’t know much about the anatomical make up of the body {I’ll leave that to K and K}– but I do know about the energetic. We are made of so much energy and much like our muscles and bodies hold stress and strain – they also hold memories – both good and well… not so good {break ups, injuries, negative emotions and traumas}.

How we feel in our bodies affects every other aspect of life. How good to you feel after doing the Beach Babe Workout, drinking a green juice, a protein shake or going for a run. { you feel phenomenal – and are happier, healthier, lighter, more energetic and lively }.

Besides being the founder of Tiny Devotions– {a boho chic mala bead company encouraging people to live inspired and intention based lives} I am also a yoga teacher and have seen amazing correlations in the body that relate to someone’s soul and entire life.

Disclaimer: I’m not going to get all chakra’d on you all but we have energy centers in the body that correlate to different area of our life such as grounding, security, sexuality, power, heart, communication, intuition etc. It’s a whole other post 😉

Check in with yourself – are you breathing? Is there a certain area of your body that feels tense and stressed? It’s likely that this physical tension correlates to a mental, emotional or spiritual tension you are also experiencing.

My beliefs are that what you are feeling in your body is a direct manifestation about where you are at in your life.

If your shoulders are heavy and tense it is likely that you are “carrying the weight of the world” in some area of your life – perhaps taking on too much at work or in a friendship.

If you chest is tight – it is possible that your heart is not open and that you may be shutting yourself down from love – either self-love or love in your relationships.

Every part of your body corresponds energetically to a certain aspect of your life. Many people who feel “stuck” in life are those that don’t exercise. When they start using their body and start feeling their legs work then they can start energetically moving forward.

If we acknowledge that there is an energetic side of our bodies – it empowers us that our workouts are much more then calorie blasting or muscle building sessions – they are the beginnings steps for the recipe of the life that we are creating.

Challenge yourself to set intentions before your work-outs and use them as a time to not only work out your body – but visualize and create a road map for toning up your soul and manifesting your dreams.

In order to manifest, create or attract what you are looking for the first thing you need to do is know what you want.

What do you want?

 

Are you sure that is what you want?

Many people struggle with figuring out this key question – if you are looking for clarity –  do quiet meditative work outs for a while – go walk on the beach, hang out in some yoga poses or simply turn off the music and go for a run in silence. If you have no idea what you want – start with what you don’t want.

One of the first steps in manifesting is usually letting go of what you don’t want and creating space for new and good to come in!

I once had to let go of a broken heart left behind from a previous boyfriend. I made it my mission to let him go – repainted my room, got rid of the clothes that reminded me of him, threw the ring he gave me into the ocean (extreme but affective) and dedicated a yoga class and every exhale during it to letting him go. {and it worked}.

In a matter of days I felt more space and joy then I had felt in a long time and right in front of my eyes I was introduced to a whole group of new friends and found myself unexpectedly in a yoga teacher training living out my dreams.

I had been carrying around so much heartbreak that although nothing changed with time or money  – the space in my mind and heart opened up new opportunities and possibilities in my life.

Ok, so now you know what you want and have let go of the people, things, and beliefs that are standing in the way. Now what?

Now you have to feel it. If you want to be a _________________  have a ___________ or you want to go to ______________ {or whatever else you dream about} you need to feel as though you already have it. You need to talk about it, express it and most importantly take action on it.

A lot of people get stuck because they cannot imagine how what they want could possibly happen. It’s important to not be attached to the how but more importantly know the {why}. Why do you want this? Is it for the betterment of yourself and the world?

The universe conspires to make peoples dreams come true. Unfortunately – we are often the ones in our own way. We don’t believe we are good enough, or believe that it is possible. We often don’t even show up.

When you commit to something – with 108% of your heart and mind and soul then there is no possibility that it won’t happen. {unless of course it is the wrong door and it will lead you to the right door for you}

Set an intention everyday for what you want to achieve – no matter how big or how small – when you live in this way every minute is a living meditation for creating the life of your dreams.

From the words of my man Goethe,

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!

 

 

Do it, Do it now.

– Diana Charabin