The Fight of Faith….
Lord when I’m weary
“When Moses’ arms grew tired, Aaron and Hur brought a stone for him to sit on, while they stood beside him and held up his arms, holding them steady until the sun went down. In this way Joshua totally defeated the Amalekites.” Exodus 17:12-13
I want y'all to take a minute, picture the heavy moments of life, the earth shattering moments, the “Lord I’m not going to make it” moments.
Now picture the messengers, the prayer warriors, the life givers, the hope bringers.
Now let me give you a truth, God will put you in, allow situations that are too much, that you will feel weary. But He will never forsake you, not even in those moments.
This beautiful scripture in Exodus is a prime example.If go back in the book of Exodus, this was just one of the many tasks and anointings Moses was given in his relationship with God.
And if we are honest this was probably one of less heavy ones. But God! At the moment of weariness, at the moment of “ God why?!?” He sent help, he sent load bearers, someone to help take up this cross. God didn’t take the assignment away, He sent others to come alongside Moses.
Get. A. Village. Get you some prayer warriors, get you some truth tellers.
All of this are such blessings. I have and am walking through seasons in life where I could not have made it to the other side of the Kingdom mission without my arm lifters.
The ones who bring meals, take kids to school, are on their knees pleading to God on my behalf.
At this point you maybe asking “Denise, where do I start on building this village?”
I can’t give you a perfect formula, but I can give you some insight.
The obvious would be to pray about it. Take some time and right names of people you connect with even on the smallest level.
I also always make it a point to challenge myself to be around those who are nothing like me. We each have something to offer in how God has designed us. Be like minded in Christ, Yes...but our world views are all salted a little differently, and it makes for beautiful flavoring of friendship.
Finally, I seek those that have something I admire. Not in a way that it turns into coveting, but maybe I admire the way she prayers, bakes, or how she has an amazing knack for self care. We are bounded together by learning from on another.
We are reminded over and over again in scripture of communities coming together, surrounding the weakening, providing for one another.
Can I just leave you one more sweet truth? I worry less and surrender to God more when I serve others even in my own pain and trials.
Fight together. Fight in the name of the Kingdom, take up arms and Fight for your sister.
~In God's love, fighting with the village strength of a warrior,
***This work was originally written for a journal of stories for the Saturated Women’s Conference in Columbia, SC
What if I told you that the power Christ gave you, also came with the ability to speak life or death into any situation. I'm not talking nonsense here.
When you look at yourself in the mirror, before the glam and daily preparation, what do you see? What do you say to yourself? If you're anything like the average person, you immediately start to pick yourself apart. Start formulating a plan to live up to that image of yourself you've created. Not of God, but of your own thoughts.
What if you stopped, took a breath, and asked God to show you His view point? I can gaurante without a doubt you would be blown away.
If you want to look at it from another stand point, the world is constantly telling you, who to be and how to be. It’s exhausting.
An heir, beautiful, wonderfully made, gifted, loved, Made in His image. These are all things scripture says about you.
Open your eyes, speak this life over yourself, better still over the ones you love.
We have a chance every day when we open our eyes to view ourselves as beloved.
Most importantly, show me in scripture where it tells us Jesus directs us to tear ourselves down. John never stood in a mirror and counted every dislike about himself. He was busy following Jesus.
Life is fun with a little flare.
But this world will pull you apart till you have nothing nice to say. Imagine the damage it’s doing to your spirit.
Speak Life. Take a breath and let God show you how beautifully you are made.
Before we dive in, if you don’t already know, I’ve changed posting to a once a week thing. If life has taught me anything, this last year, it’s that change is okay. And sometimes, just maybe your best laid plans weren’t well...the best.
I’ve mentioned before that we aren’t just focusing on physical fitness on Monday’s but spiritual as well.
I think the first step to understanding how we all measure up in being more spiritual than others is simply this. We don’t.
My journey looks absolutely nothing like any of the amazing women that are part of my village. And that’s exactly how God wants it. It’s easy for us to migrate to those who we have things in common with, who have the same needs, tax brackets, and experiences.
But where is the ability to grow? And most importantly was Jesus the center?
Those you surround yourself with are such an important part of the spiritual journey. Those real raw, loving, honest uplifting relationships.
These are what I like to call, the stretching of spiritual fitness. It’s great for the spirit, sets the pace, and is needed to help avoid injuries.
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.””
Now let’s talk about the pulse of it all. The thing that will bring you life and will reward you with the most gains.
Your time with God. This comes as a three pack
We read scripture because it’s Gods manuscript and love letter to us. There is no unanswered question in the Bible, nothing you are dealing with in life can be out done by Gods word. There’s a flavor for every occasion y’all!
We pray because that’s our conversation with God. Letting Him know your burdens, you joys. Give Him a chance to have your undivided attention. Speak to God. He covets that relationship with you.
We worship. I mean, take 2 minutes and write down all He’s done in your life. Tell me it doesn’t deserve some praise. I don’t know about you, but I love shouting what Jesus did for me on a daily. Raise them hands, dance around, make a joyful noise. He’s worthy above all things. Give God your time. You will never be disappointed.
Finally. Let’s talk about that Jesus diet. Just like I know my love of cupcakes isn’t going to get me a six pack of abs. I know watching/listening/reading things of this world,on unfiltered, borrowed time. Will leave me heavy, and never full.
I refuse to use this moment to convict anyone. That’s between you and God. I wrestle with these things daily. The world is full of earthly distractions. I fall into traps constantly.
But im also seeing the unhealthy, unchrist like person I become with a lack of my vitamin J! The carbs of life...the fat calf.
So here’s a few tips I’m happy to share:
~Download a few Christian podcast and sermons. Play them while you’re cooking, riding in the car. I also use the Dwell app. It’s great, it reads scripture to you with a ton of plans. You get to pick music that goes with it, and even different voices. I start in the morning when I first wake up, and again as I lay my head down to rest at night.
~Have a few bible studies to dig into. Right now I have three. Acts by She/He reads Truth. Your Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. Hebrews A Better Blend by Leah Adams.
~So when it comes to TV and movies, I’ve really try and ask myself is this something I want my kids watching?
You know what we’ve discovered? The cable part of our TV hardly ever comes on. We watch a lot of DVD’s from our collection or the library. Most shows we check the ratings or look up Christian based reviews. And we aren’t missing out on a thing.
What you feed your mind and heart, is what you feed the soul. Be careful what you let seep in.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
At this point you’re wondering why I never got to the warfare part...you are already in the battle brothers and sisters.
This is just a plan the strength you when it seems to much.
See that village will pray will you, intercede on your behalf. Sit with you when the cross is heavy.
That time spent praying, reading scripture, and worshipping, keeps you guarded. Keeps the truth of God and who you are in Him at the forefront. So when the enemy comes to trip you up, you have that shined up armor.
Filtering what goes into your mind, ears, and heart? That lessen the foot hold, and weakness the stumbling blocks the enemy puts before you.
So here’s your fitness plan. Use it wisely.
Sparkle in Shine in the name of Jesus!
"Love so undeniable I can hardly speak...as you call me still" -Good Father, Stephen Curtis Chapman
This song is a few years old, but I go back to it over and over.
"Oh these hands are tired, Oh this hart is tired, but I'll keep on, I'll keep on". -I'll Keep on, NF
Mr. Glitter calls this my weary soul song. My point here, there is a song to worship in every moment. Every frame of mind you may find yourself in.
I think often, we view worship as just singing and raising hands, a time of Joy, and honoring God. And that most definitely is exactly what it should be.
But there are times in between that as well. I can heal my spirit quick with a time of worship with my Father.
Sometimes when I have no words to say, I let the lyrics of worship, speak to my heart.
Ya'll there have been so many times I've been in that place. Not even the words of my God, my refuge of His word works.
Do you wonder if that is possibly why the book of Psalms was the one with the most verses? (Side note, in my research to write this I learned that though Psalms has the most verses, Jeremiah is the longest) David just there writing songs, and pouring it all out to God. Worshiping in that raw honesty. Is there anything more beautiful?!
"For the director of music. A psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands" Psalms 19:1
At the depths of his despair. what some would call a fall from grace...David is singing, praying, worshiping the Lord.
No wonder we turn here over and over again, in our moments of despair. We gain inspiration, comfort, an understanding of the relationship God craves with us. Worship, relationship.
So lets stop thinking of worship in terms of Sunday morning before the sermon. Yes it is communion with God, it is a time to honor Him. But what better way to heal our spirit then to do so at our lowest, at our highest, when we are feeling the furthest away from God. Worship in EVERY moment.
Hello loves! It's been a journey since we last sat and chatted. If for some reason we don't know one another on instagram or Facebook, then you've missed the big news. The book is done!!!
A 60 page devotional for those of you struggling in any stage of your faith walk.
I'm going to go ahead and shameless plug here, before we get to the marrow of this journey.
When I tell you guys this was Jesus in every step....
I'm still sitting here in awe at His faithfulness. I started walking this over two years ago. I would pick it up and set it right back down. Hype myself up, get an outline or work on a chapter. Then it would sit, and sit. A friend would ask. I'd piddle around some more.
God kept working. He sent messengers. Encouragers. Sisters in arms. And still I kept waiting.
God kept sending reminders. I kept running. I know that things I experienced in these two years of God pursuing me in this, was just adding depth, and glory to His name.
And with a swiftness it all came together. A friend posted about this amazing God filled little coffee shop. One of my bestfriends, who happens to also be an amazing editor, and then another long distance sister in Christ, basically said "GET IT DONE."
So I packed my Mom bag full of stuff, stepped into this anointed space. And let my heart for God spill out into my computer keys.
God new I would need my editor Morgan. God knew I would need my author mentor and eventual publish Nicole. God knew I needed Lighthouse coffee. God knew I needed to experience Him in those two years, like I had never before.
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." ~1 Thessalonians 5:11
My point in this. Let God use you. That little spark of hope. It maybe taking pictures or starting a small bible study in your home. God has a reason for that spark. Let it be your burning bush. And your guide post.
It’s the same thing every year. The week after Christmas and we start seeing all these ads and self declarations. In the New Year I’m going to————- . You get it. We all do it. I’m guilt of it.
About 2 years ago I decided I wasn’t going to make resolutions anymore. Why did I have to wait a whole year to make the changes I wanted to see in my life. Start that running routine , read those books, start those bible plans, eat more salad! Why? Why wait? Why set ourselves up for failure. I mean if we are really breaking it down, American culture sets ya up for failure. Those cuties with the cookies start appearing two weeks into January, then a few weeks later good ol’ St. Valentine is being celebrated. Those gym commercials stop flowing, and those running shoes are back in the closet. And let’s not forget, I should be mid Exoudus, but we never seem to make it beyond the flood.
So what stopped me from making failed promises to myself? I realized that I didn’t have to wait on the world to tell me how to be the best version of me. I had a God who puts dreams and aspirations on my heart. Who has nothing but the best in store for me. Who will love me even when I don’t finish the race/plan/diet. He is faithful. He is the same.
It that’s just it. When God places things on your heart, He will make away. And darling, please don’t underestimate Him. These plans where written before you where born. Even if you lay it down for a time, God will lead you back. There is nothing stopping you but you. He will provide every need, He has already anticipated every notion of “ I can’t, I won’t” , that you’ve already thought of. Go head tell God what you aren’t going to do. Let me know how that works out.
New Year. Same God.
Know that whatever it is in your heart to accomplish, you don’t need a new year, or the world to tell you how to succeed in the task. Our God is delighting in the joy of His children being fruitful in His works. No matter how small you think it is. He’s got your back. Today, tomorrow, Always.
If 2018 was an album it would be titled ‘The miss education of Gods Grace.’
The last time we where together I was looking at my 35th birthday like a Queen sitting on top of a very naive notation that life was about become smooth and I was just going to ride the gravy train like Gods little unshakable princess.
Let’s just repeat this phrase a few times before I take you down my rabbit hole of the last 18 months. “ I’m shakeable, but God sees fit to make the pieces of Him that dwell in me Unbreakable.”
So let’s begin. In late 2017 I had surgery to remove my cancerous thyroid. Hold your glitter folks because this isn’t even the start of it. Surgery went well. Two days later I was in the ICU because my body could no longer produce electrolytes. Things like calcium, magnesium, iron...yep those things. My body doesn’t make anymore.
9 days I recouped, was poked, endured looks of worry, and 100’s of blood draws. But nothing.NOTHING. Will ever surpass the peace that God will bring you in those moments. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t have moments of frustration or fear. But that was always chased away by Gods Grace and peace.
My lesson to you in moments like this...God will always be enough. When you face your Goliath, let God be your rock.
Not long after this medical adventure that presented a new normal, Mr. Glitter was suddenly and swiftly medically retired from the Army. Almost 14 years of service. 14 years of someone else telling you where to be and how to be. 14 years of not knowing what it truly meant to be part of “the real world”. Another shakable moment. But not without the reminder of God saying “ be still, I am here, let me be your everything.” Do you think I listened? Of course not. That’s laughable. I raged, I fought with my husband, I was unnecessarily mean. Because I was standing in a place I never thought we would be. If I’m honest, deep down I knew it was time. I knew this was the path God had laid for our family before we were even one.
You know what though. Y’all God showed up and He showed out. I remember the moment all the break throughs came. I was in the bedroom of our then home, and started praying. Not the cute “ Dear Jesus”, but the ugly crying, face down on the ground, sounds of a wounded animal, praying. Because I was. I was so wounded by my own actions. By my unwillingness to let God love me. And then I surrender. I laid it all right there. In this cycle of life never once did we go hungry or homeless. And let me tell you, as hard as the army life can be, you always know you will have somewhere to live and a steady income. On March 29th ours was cut in half with no prospects insight. But God. Bills got paid, food was plenty, and here’s that word again...peace. Doors opened up. A strong village was formed. People blessed us more than we deserved. Mr. Glitter found a job with an amazing company. And things seemed to be back on track.
We are still climbing mountains, but because we lay it down with God, even in moments of being weary. He is our strength and shelter.
So here we are January 2019. There is so much to still share. So much to pray with you about, so much wisdom gained from this last year and a half. You will see some new areas on the blog. But I’m here again with you because God never stopped putting this passion on my heart. So let’s start this journey all over again. With God as our foundation.
This coming Saturday I will be blessed to celebrate 36 years of life and loving.
If you asked me this last year what I thought 35 would look like I would have said excitement and adventure, celebrating who God made me to be.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." ~Jeremiah 1:5(NIV)
This is a verse I have had to repeat over and over again these last 362 days.
I am whole. I am progress. I am passion. I am loved. I am never forsaken.
These are my truths.
I took this photo last year a week before my 35th birthday,with grand plans that I had made for myself swirling through my head. That was the first mishap. I told God what I was going to do. You can stop laughing.
God gave me adventure.
We moved to a new state, a new church, new diagnoses , new friends, new battles in my marriage, a leadership roll I never saw coming, and things that would rock my foundation of who I was in Christ.
The excitement...well maybe not the typical idea of it.
I excitedly danced in my kitchen when I heard cancer free, I cried tears of joy as women I had never met before prayed over me. I delighted in the knowledge that it was okay to not be okay and to wait on God's timing.
I celebrated who I was now in Christ. This moment. A time such as this. Because the moment I lost sight of these truths, I would fall into an unknown and have to lay it all right back down at the cross. A cycle that has been repeated multiple times this year.
I was humbled, I was lifted up, I learned to love the me
who Christ built and ordained to do more for this world then get lost in books.
So 36, what can I tell you?
Remeber every single day you are a daughter of The King.
Do not let the world define you. Embrace you.
Pray, pray, pray, then pray harder.
Cultivate those friendships that show you that you are not alone.
Be truthful to yourself.
Love yourself, every last bit of you.
Tattoo scripture on your heart. You're going to need it.
Kiss Mr. Glitter more.
Tell your sons how amazing they are every day.
Always eat the cupcake.
Remember, God, family, then everything else.
Laugh more, it's good for the soul.
And above all else please remember,
I am whole. I am progress. I am passion. I am loved.
I am never forsaken.
Hello dolls! I know it's been a while but it's been a roller coaster and I have so much to share.
Today, I wanted to start with something life changing for me. The plant based way of life. Notice I will never call it a diet. It is a health change. Diets don't work, life changes do.
A year ago my health took a toll for the worst. I was faced with a thyroid cancer possibility, and in November of 2016 I would be rushed to the ER with a life threatening case of tachycardia brought on my adrenaline fatigue that I didn't even know I had.
At a loss of what to do, I started seeking information and research anywhere I could. Although I had healthy eating habits, despite my love of cupcakes, my
body was literally burning through all of it's energy sources and slowly breaking down. Even on a 4 day a week workout schedule my body was holding on to weight. I would wake up sore and in pain beyond workout soreness. The only thing I kept being told is "lose more weight."
As you can imagine I was frustrated and losing hope. I had nothing left but faith and God finally provided answers. I was finally connected with a doctor who listened. Who looked at my records, and could see a pattern that previous doctors refused to address. I was put on a supplement regiment to address the adrenaline fatigue, and he then suggested I look into an anti inflammatory diet.
Finally I had answers and hope.
So to break it down quickly, an anti inflammatory diet is eliminating dairy, caffeine, processed sugary, most meats except for chicken and fish, and turkey, and also watching salt intake.
This got me extremely curious and I started digging deeper. It didn't hurt that I was blessed with a lovely neighbor already a year into a plant based/vegan life.
Why would dairy and meat cause inflammation?
I promise I'm not going to go into paragraphs of research here, all I will simply say is please do some googling and documatry watching of your own. I will simply say that the human body is in no way meant to process dairy and meat at the high rate of consumption that most Americans do now. It is actually harming us, to the point of death.
Before I continue I would like to state, that before this journey I had perfect cholesterol and normal ranges of blood pressure. I am not a medical doctor nor a nutritionist, but have set through at least 45 hours of nutrition classes. Most medical doctors only take the 15-20 hours required to earn their degree. I say this because when you do begin asking your doctor about a plant based eating plan, most don't truly have the knowledge to understand it. Seek a nutritionist.
Protien, calcium, and iron can all be found in abundance in many plants, seeds, nuts and grains. The only two supplemts required would be a daily vitamin (which you should be taking already) and a B12 supplement.
Januaury 2017 I made the decision to give up meat, and dairy. I can not call myself vegan or even 100 % plant based because I do still consume eggs( sourced from a home based, humane, cruelty free hens),and honey.
There is a world out there that I never knew.
If you gain nothing else from reading this, please know the level of ridiculousness that is in our food. For example most processed white sugar contains bone char from animals. I know mind boggling.
So here is why I'm sharing this with you.
From the picture above you can see the transformation. The kicker, I haven't been able to work out for a year because of the adrenaline fatigue and a necessary historectomy.
I have lost 63 pounds. I no longer wake up in pain, with sore muscles and joints. I have healed faster and no longer find myself sluggish or feeling ill after eating a meal. My skin is glowing, and I have energy I never had before. I don't miss out on a thing. My
labs all show improvement, and my body is now becoming better at self sustaining. I eat pasta, bread, bacon, cupcakes, ice cream, burgers,tacos,the list is endless. I don't have guilt after eating something because I know it's plant based and fueling my body. I've become
even more creative in my cooking, and my family supports me. I've made slow permanent changes in my household. All the milk, yogurt, and butter has been replaced with plant based options, with no complaints from other memebers of the glitter household. Twice a week my whole family goes meatless.
So my recommendations
~Start slowly replace one item every two weeks.
~ I love to follow the Buddhist Cheif, and the Minimalist Baker.
~Be prepared. Life gets busy, have quick things on hand. Smoothies and oatmeal are a breakfast favorite in our home. I've also learned that many restaurants and quick to go places have diary/meat free options. Chipotle, Zoe's Kitchen, and Panarea Bread are my favorite go to's.
I share this to say there is hope beyond medication and waking up miserable. Do your own research into the food industry. There are a ton of alternative options now to things like cheese, sour cream and meat.
Please don't buy into powders and pills, you can change your life by simply fueling your body with what it needs. Stop substituting and jumping from diet to diet.
It took me 35 years to understand what my body truly needed and to open my eyes to the truth. Love yourself, know yourself, sparkle on.
As I've grown in my faith, over and over, I come back to the same three things. These three things keep me grounded, level headed, and remind me that the gospel, the good news is what is at the heart of it all.
So here are the three questions we should ask daily, During our quiet time, when we start a new ministry, job, or major decision.
1) Are you living for you, or Christ?
"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or God? Or am I trying to please man? If I please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. "~Galatians 1:10
There is no better way for me to answer that question, then this verse shared by Paul. Am I living for man, or am I living for the one who gave it all? It's so easy to get caught up in the glitz and glam, the instant gratification. But we are called to serve and love. This world is not the prize. So way waste our time pleasuring a world not meant for us? A lesson I'm learning repeatedly: The more I live for Christ and die to this world, the more overjoyed my spirit becomes.
2) Am I listening?
"Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long." ~Psalm 25:5
We yell, we question, we complain, we move on our own accord. " God! What do I do?!" "'Why can't I hear you?!"
I know I've said or thought all of these things. The piece missing from this equation was me. Maybe I've stopped digging into the Bible. Or when was the last time I had quiet time? Do I immediately seek Him, or run to my friends? That still voice will fade the further I get from Him. And many times I've heard His answer and refuse to accept it. Seek Him, He has never left you. Wait on Him, His timing and will are perfect.
3) Am I loving like Christ?
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. "~John 13:34-35
Love, love, love...all you need is love!
That's so simple, I can do that!
But we let things like, pride, busy work, list, rules, or shame get in our way. Do we take the time to share the gospel with someone we know needs the Lord? Have we dropped a meal by to someone in need? Mailed a random card to a stranger, served in our church or community? Or just simply listened instead of immediately responding out of anger or hate.
We must wake up and realize Christ is love,therefore we should respond simply that way. I'm not preaching to put your convictions aside, but we often forget that kindness and love should be our first response.
I ask you all to start every morning for a week with these three questions on your mind. Watch how it impacts your lives and those around you.
Jesus, coffee, and love.
That's the order of my life these days, and it is oh so sweet.
"Never Miss a Monday" Physical and Spiritual Fitness
Tuesday "Thoughtful Tuesday" Wise Counsel & Titus
Music & More
"Time for Glitter"
Craft & DIY Day and Food
“Free for All”
A little spontaneity is always fun!