Refresh Summit

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some pictures from this past weekend when I went to Refresh Summit South in Tennessee. Last year I had the privilege of being a speaker, and this year I was a last minute attendee!

9Qm9wwOzx0BDEXL-58MCxjO83_ENpJyvE2c-0Q0LAYIpX92IB

Refresh Summit is a Christ centered fitness retreat. A great time of learning, sharing, and sweating with other ladies! After the crazy summer I have had and with preparing to move, it was great to get away and be still as I get ready for a huge life change. We filled the weekend with worship,

66rMII1bjeqFJuTIFkxQFen2ynuqvv2yZjIsNV0fml4pX92IB

food,

z0SL0ZiZGNOstAQO12BOAYc8PT1dogF17Duh6mia5kopX92IB

conversation,

XN29OuRCvTiBHE1cG6S5eYU3IQidkvALoFyeVyRDu2spX92IB

workouts,

aP7H-hV8mYFoAUTbMVkcjKwg-aQC_myEvb3eKvsli2YpX92IB

bvNQQGTS8mRyVcjnEpUQ7hgtnLUvc58wwN6c6Nu04JEpX92IB

my4t3E-inTgWFT_InZpyzDh1kBqv_ojhII-ST8fb1TwpX92IB

group fitness,

Nc1Q53zCtUuQtfG9r2cuMnQnIYCIo2zjoZmnGEfAQfgpX92IB

M0okPM7QiFvcqeHOELlveoCAaUNWbH0d7r4sfBnyBIApX92IB

country glow zumba,

RuvtpxXh13N6hxbsaAH9hrxMi0Js5_n_fZZ4AZzTcMUpX92IB

jyxzmwFHioxDRb1qp7ZvupvqvPMmtNgSY17t7SevqnspX92IB

and a bonfire with s’mores

XRZ0Ut-DDxW65ZijH5tEZzMDT7LxbIdd5481hi7k_VspX92IB

It went by super fast, but was just what my soul needed in this season. I took a long hike by myself on Saturday afternoon, and it was great to just drown out the noise, no social media, no texts, etc. and just walk, pray, and listen. Sometimes I think we are so busy doing all the talking and praying that we forget to just BE STILL and listen. (At least I do!)

I am so glad I got to go back to Refresh and see old friends, and also make new ones!

QOTD: Have you ever been to a retreat or conference? What is your favorite part?

5 Top Moments from Refresh Summit

Hello friends! I am back! I had every intention of having a blog post written Sunday night to go up Monday, but I did NOT intend to catch a bad cold and feel like crap when I got home Sunday night! I think I am getting better thankfully. What timing, huh? The sickness didn’t stop me form having a great time in Tennessee for Refresh Summit.

175

We spent the weekend at the beautiful Deer Run retreat center just outside of Nashville.

unnamed (47)

unnamed (48)

Instead of recapping everything we did, I just wanted to share my 5 favorite moments:

1.) 80’s glow in the dark Zumba party: OH MY GOSH so much fun. Zumba has never really been my “thing”, but this was a BLAST. Since it was Halloween, we had an 80’s theme. We turned out the lights, donned a ton of glow in the dark jewelry, and danced our booties off to 80’s music. It. was. amazing.

unnamed (52)

unnamed (60)

2.) Sharing my heart in my workshop: I had the privilege of leading a workshop twice, sharing my heart about social media, the negative side of things, the comparison trap, and having a healthy view of social media. (I fully intend to make this into a blog post at some point, so hang tight.) I had forgotten how much I enjoyed speaking and sharing what God is and has done in my life, and it lit a fire in me to do it more often, so hopefully I will have the opportunity!

11705126_10153760967419612_5687279893925727973_n

3.) Chatting with friends: Old friends and new alike, I enjoyed each and every woman I met at the summit. Everyone had such a unique story, and I am so happy to have met them all. I will admit, at first I felt a bit like the odd man out since a large portion of the people there had attended last year and all knew each other, but it didn’t take long to jump right in and get to know everyone. That’s one thing I loved about this particular retreat, we got to have some down time to get to know each other instead of just GO GO GO non stop.

unnamed (44)

unnamed (58)

4.) Meals: Ah, the food. We had some amazing meals at Deer Run put on by the staff, then we also had a breakfast sponsored by Love Grown, and a lunch sponsored by Chipotle! Both were delicious. So many good eats all weekend long.

unnamed (49)

unnamed (56)

5.) Worship time: We have several times where we sat and sang/worshiped. and we had the privilege of being led by the wonderful Rhyan Shirley. She wrote the song “You Are” that you may have heard Colton Dixon sing on the radio. She did a great job and I truly enjoyed her music and guitar playing. unnamed (55)

All in All, Refresh Summit was amazing, and the hosts put in so much hard work to make sure it was a great experience for all, and I was grateful for their hard work, and blessed in so many different ways. If you have a chance to go next year I highly recommend it! There will also be one out in California in April if you live on the west coast.

171

QOTD: have you ever gone on a fitness or women’s retreat?

My View of Success

Let’s sit down and chat. Have a cup of coffee perhaps? I have some heavy stuff on my mind I want to get out.

Fabletics fall

Success. It’s a funny business. Some people want it so badly, they will do anything for it. Some aren’t sure how to define it, and some  search after the happiness that “success” brings. Other people get nervous when you talk about success, maybe because they have failed a lot, or maybe they are jealous. Some people may even feel “behind” when others around them have success after success, but not a lot of people want to bring it up.

I am a very competitive person, which served me very well in school. I made good grades, was captain of different sports teams, and luckily never really had to feel unsuccessful or unhappy with the way things were going aside from your regular high school drama. It was all well and good for 17 year old Heather, but adult world is way harsher and harder than high school sports and school world, and I quickly found myself feeling behind in life.

After college, things didn’t go as planned for us career wise, and I will be the first to admit it was hard seeing those around me succeed in that area. I was of course happy for THEM, but unhappy that I wasn’t there WITH them if that makes sense. Bobby and I had to deal with several struggles as young married folk that you don’t typically see, and I would like to think that looking back it has made us stronger, but I am also ashamed at how I have reacted in certain situations dealing with “success”.

The funny part is, that everyone thinks the grass is always greener on the other side, but what they don’t know Is that the other person has struggles of their own that they just haven’t shared. I could look at all of my friends and name success that they have had that they probably wouldn’t even consider a success, because it was something that may have come easy to them, or wasn’t something that they struggled with. unnamed (37)

I live in a very nice town. I love it, but the problem with it is that it’s like an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians. Fancy cars everywhere, huge homes, stuff, stuff, stuff, everywhere. Little kids wearing designer things, everyone with a boat, a country club membership, and first class airplane tickets. Let’s be clear: Is there anything wrong with those things in themselves? NO. However, the Bible is clear on this subject in Matthew chapter 6 verse 20-21:

20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

What do you consider your treasure? It will show evidence of where your heart is. Is your treasure a fancy house or the most luxurious car? Is it having the smartest kid in school? Is it having the fastest race time in your running group? Maxing out the highest weight at CrossFit?

Again, none of these things are bad, it’s awesome to set and reach goals, but if this, this is ALL there is, if it is something you OBSESS over and let it BECOME your life instead of part OF your life, then that is the problem. If your success lies in things, if it lies in awards, or pats on the back, or people telling you that you have it all together, then you are missing out on the treasure my friends. Have you ever been to a funeral, and in the casket there were items placed inside that the person who passed away would want to take with them? But…they are still sitting there, in the casket. You cannot take your stuff out of this world. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy things while you are hear, but let’s all think about taking time to invest in other things as well, right?

photod

I am including myself in this as well. As a highly competitive person I have fallen victim to many of these things time and time again. Why is she so successful, I try hard, too? Why do they seem to have it easy, what are they doing right that we aren’t? Maybe you are asking the wrong questions. What about, people, relationships, quality time, happy, healthy kids, a mission minded church family, an answer to a long awaited prayer, helping someone through a rough spot.

I think we could all benefit from taking a step back and thinking about society’s definition of success, and God’s definition of success. At the end of this life, it won’t matter how much stuff I have accumulated, or how many trophies I have, but the way I treated my neighbors, how I sacrificed my time to help a stranger, and the way I chose to love others will indeed matter. I’m going to work on storing up the right kind of treasures, and being a success in the eyes of the one who really matters.

QOTD: What is your definition of success? Do you ever fall into the “stuff” or “awards” trap?

It’s Just Not Fair

The other day, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed for the 20th time that day, and my eyes caught something that really hit home from Lysa TerKeurst:

Lysa T

Read it again. Slower this time, then come back…I will wait.

…………..

…………..

Ok, good. I just wanted to make sure it really sunk in, and I feel like I have to read something at least twice (and sometimes say it out loud) for it to really get down into my soul. Let’s unpack this status update piece by piece shall we?

Disappointment. I don’t know about you, but just that word gives me a sinking nauseating feeling in my stomach. I don’t like to disappoint other people (aka “people pleaser”) and I certainly don’t like to be disappointed in someone else, or in my life. Before I continue, can we please push aside any hostile feelings of “I’m sure what YOU are going through is NOTHING compared to what I am going through!” Let’s not play that game. Until you have walked a mile in someone else’s shoes, you cannot know how deep something hurts, or how difficult a season of life may be. Just wanted to clear that up. Moving on…..

I am a planner. No, not for a living (well, I AM a travel planner for a living but that’s not what I mean). I have plans for my life. When I was in college I had plans for my career. When I got married I had plans for our perfect little “married life”, and when I had a baby, well…we can all laugh at those plans now can’t we? Oh my friends there are many, MANY things “that I thought would be” that either have not happened yet, or happened in a totally different way then I anticipated. For this type-A planned out person, those realities really, REALLY have gotten my panties in a twist at times.

This leads to the next part…the unanswered questions…and the sensation that things just. aren’t. fair. Why did HER husband get that promotion? Why was I not picked for that project? Why was I plagued with this illness or injury? Why did they get that awesome opportunity, I could have don’t just a good of job if not better….

DSC_0709

(enter random beach photo to break up the text).

We have all said it, thought it, fumed about it. Jealousy is an ugly monster that can rule your life if not kept in check. You have heard it 100 times and threatened to deck the next person that says it to you…God has a plan…you can trust God. Not exactly what you want to hear when you lose your job, or your child is in the hospital, or you aren’t sure how you are going to afford your bills.

Pick a problem. Think of a time when you thought that life just was not fair. Let’s look at it from God’s point of view shall we. When thinking of that problem or situation, try to think…

– Maybe God allowed something to happen (or not happen) because He has a greater opportunity waiting for you that would not be possible if He gave you the thing you wanted so badly.

– Maybe if you got or did the thing that would make things “fair” in your mind, it would lead to your ruin. Maybe God is trying to protect you from something that you just can’t see yet, and not getting your way is for your well being on down the road.

– Maybe you have strayed away from God, and He is using this situation to bring you back to Him. I have heard it said that pain is God’s megaphone. You are not very likely to listen when things are going your way, and you don’t have a care in the world. I think sometimes God has to use drastic measures on us hardheaded folks to get our attention.

I can look back over the past several years at situations where I felt things were just not fair. There is a common thread through all of these situations, and no the commonality is NOT that everything ended up working out the way I wanted it to. I wish it were that easy! The thing that I can glean from looking at each of those not so fun circumstances it that God was with me through them all, (Deuteronomy 31:8) and each time I have had a struggle, it has been a little bit easier to deal with because based on past experiences, I knew God was going to bring me through it. Chew on that for awhile. If the more hard stuff you go through draws you closer to God and helps you to trust him more the NEXT time something comes up, then I would say it was a worthwhile experience.

DSC_0914

A friend of mine posted something very interesting on Facebook the other day that got me thinking. It said “no test = no testimony”. Such a simple phrase but it packs a powerful punch. If our faith is never tested, and if things are always “fair” in our little world, then how are we to relate to and help our friends and family and even strangers that are going through difficult times? Think about it. When you are going through something, do you want to pour your heart out to someone who has never gone through hard times, or the same types of hard times? I know I don’t! I want sage advice from those who have “been there done that” and made it out the other side. It gives me hope for my situation. (2 Corinthians 1:4)

I try to not get too philosophical here on my blog because big words confuse me and when I ask Siri what they mean, she laughs at me.However, from time to time I feel led to bring up certain things. I don’t share EVERYTHING from my life here, but I do want you to know I have gone through and am going through some hard stuff. It may look different from your hard stuff, but it’s all hard just the same. I still sometimes find myself with unanswered questions and asking God why He is allowing things to happen, but in the end I know I can trust Him and that He has a plan. Even if it ends up not looking like the life I envisioned, I certainly don’t want to shortchange myself when God may have something else really awesome and better planned than I can even imagine.

ephesians_320

QOTD: Have you ever felt like life just wasn’t fair? How did you respond?

Palms Up

I am participating in an online Bible study on a book by author Lysa TerKeurst called “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.” I am only in my first week, but am so enjoying it so far.

1005483_566292833430197_1891356657_n

We are doing a blog hop today, and were asked to answer one question out of a handful to talk about on our blogs. The theme for this week is #PalmsUp. Basically, the idea here is that sometimes we hold ourselves back from receiving all the things God has for us and to do because we have our fists closed. We hold SO tightly to certain things that we aren’t willing to surrender, that our hands are not open to RECEIVE blessing or instructions from God.

This week we are focusing on keep our #palmsup so we have open hands to grow into a deeper relationship with God, and not let our fears hold us back.

This got me thinking to what I am most afraid of when it comes to saying yes to God. If I am being honest with myself, I am afraid that He will ask me to do something that I flat out just don’t want to do. I can be quite the control freak, and so when things don’t go the way I planned, I can get unhinged. I have been trying to remember out verse this week (Deuteronomy 6:5 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”) and the rest will follow.

1002360_565062103553270_2128533570_n

I have to remember that my perspective and vision is SO small compared to ALL that God can see, so while I may get angry and feel like He is holding back something from me or leaving me in the dark, He really could be protecting me from something I just can’t see. It’s a hard pill to swallow and something that has taken me a LONG time to really grasp, but if I truly DO want God’s best for me, I have to get to the point where I can say YES to God even before I know what He is going to ask me to do, with my #palmsup!

QOTD: Ok, so I was just brutally honest about what is hoping me back from going deeper with God and keeping by #palmsup, what do YOU feel is something that is holding you back? Lack of confidence? fear of failure? Share! You will feel better getting it off your chest, and then you can work towards a solution.

Rough

I had a rough day yesterday and didn’t really feel like blogging last night. I did find a couple of quotes I am hanging on tight to as we go through a rough patch. I hope they can help someone else today.

83630036b3a2788b0c65af5c9d2d02c1

e303f8a1761fdc8440fbbc11fc6f5a23

085d91915e751bef5a0bb304906299af

QOTD: what do you do when things just don’t seem to be going your way?