Romans 12:2-Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
January 2019. The first GRACE-camp of the New Year. Can you believe it? No more excuses. No more waiting. No more doubting. No more fear. Let's start, continue, FINISH, and then continue again...together. Do you guys remember the time I was invited to be in a test group for a brand new fitness program but the Lord showed me, though a good thing, it wasn't HIS thing for me? Well this program is what will accompany this first grace camp and I am SO excited to finally do it with you but most importantly WITH God!
This verse will be the heartbeat of our upcoming grace camp called the 12:2 Challenge! Beginning December 31 with prep and officially launching Jan 14, this group will accompany the brand new fitness program by super trainer Shaun T (creator of Insanity, T25, Insanity Max30, CIZE, and more) called TRANSFORM :20 and the best part, friends...is this program is a STEP program with only 20 minute workouts! TWENTY MINUTES! And no, it won't be anything like your momma's 80's aerobicstep program ;) ...Can all the busy mommas rejoice with me? But truly, momma or not...if you're someone with a busy schedule...this is for you. Anyone can make time for a 20 min workout.
If you're familiar with Shaun T, he is incredible at motivating us to dig deeper physically and mentally. The coaches you see above are also committed to helping you commit to what we call surrendered effort. This means we focus on heart posture before hand based effort. We know this program works (we've read and seen the testimonies-my best friend was actually in the test group!), but we will also dig deeper with weekly devotionals to remember that this journey is about obedience, self control, discipline, and faithfulness. Have you ever thought about your workouts being an extension of your worship? They are. Faith and fitness are not separate entities, so let me be the coach in your corner as you commit to your wellness HIS way.
With this program, Shaun T’s mission was to remove the mental barriers people have in committing to a workout. Lack of time? Don't fret! It’s just 20 minutes. Can’t do high intensity? No power jumps, no diamond jacks, no tuck jumps – No problem. With this program, Shaun T took away things people could complain about. And yes, you CAN do it. There is a modifier, and she doesn’t use the step.
This is a 6 week program and one of the coolest features is that it's shot LIVE which means every workout is different.
Transform :20 is a Good Fit for You IF:
TRY A SAMPLE WORKOUT HERE!!
Are you ready? I want to be the coach in your corner and do this WITH you! Click the button below, fill out the form, and I'll be in touch so we can dig deeper into which option is best for YOU! And if you have a sister / friend in mind who doesn't have much time but is ready to prioritize her body, mind, and soul, invite her to fill this form out too! We are better together. Can't wait to hear from you.
A little testimony on this Monday morning.So many see where I am today but don't know where I came from. This picture on the left popped up on my Facebook memories yesterday. It was November 25, 2012. I was newly married, no kids, and at the peak of my binge eating disorder. While I loved Jesus and walked with Him daily, there was one area of my life I couldn't surrender: my emotional/mental/physical wellness.
It was a 3 year journey of untangling my mess and still to this day remains an area I MUST put an armor on daily. This morning I am so thankful that God never gave up on me and relentlessly pursued my WHOLE heart. He wasn't content with partial obedience or partial freedom so He kept knocking. I reached the end of me and finally surrendered and man, while hard, painful, and uncomfortable, I experienced HIS grace and love like never before. It all began with digging deep into my identity and my beliefs because our beliefs precede our behaviors.
This is your reminder this morning that whatever that one area of your life you're struggling to surrender, let God in. He won't give up nudging you in it and will continue knocking. Will you answer?
And just know that this is my heart as a coach. It has now become not just an opportunity but a *responsibility* for me to come alongside others and help them untangle their wellness and commit to it HIS way. It is possible. I am a message away if you're ready to take it to the next level and let me be your coach. We will focus on a heart change before we work with our hands. That, my friend, is what guides surrendered effort!
It seems like as soon as I figure out who my son is, there is a new layer to his personality, his behaviors, and his reactions. So of course, trying to use the same set of keys on a door that changed locks won't work. God has been teaching me to make a new set of keys with Him. Motherhood is for sure a journey of surrender and humility...constantly.
“My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.”
I pray that encourages you as much as it encouraged me! It's so comforting to know the One writing our story and that He sees the FULL picture!
I am broken.
I about to make some super unpopular statements. But Jesus never did or spoke what was popular. So here I go. It’s so easy on social media to paint a picture of perfection. But friend, perfection is an illusion. We live in a world that tells you to radiate self-confidence and self-sufficiency. That was once me. But I‘m done with that. Because the truth is, I am so broken. I am not going to sit here and tell you how confident I am, how self sufficient I am, how because of my hustle I got XY+Z, how much money I make, how perfect my kid is, how perfect my marriage is, how perfect my house is because I am not interested in having one person out there want my life. I want you to want JESUS...the only One that can make the broken whole. This world keeps getting it more and more twisted. More books are being released on self confidence and hustle and slapping the word Christian on it, yet it is far from biblical. In Matthew 5:3 Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
We think of a blessed life as one that ends up with plenty of money not plenty of poverty. Yet, the Kingdom of heaven begins in us when we reach the very end of our rope and realize we have absolutely NOTHING to offer. Need a reality check on how Jesus blesses the poor in spirit and rebukes the rich + arrogant? Read Luke 7.
Romans 3:23 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Here is the deal, friend. The only solution for being broken is brokenness…ACKNOWLEDGING how broken you are because that is what will bring wholeness. How? Jesus. He takes the damaged, destroyed, written off and overlooked and He does what only HE can do…make it beautiful.
In his book The End of Me (also where several of these truth bombs are revealed) Kyle Idleman says “Broken people reveal the beauty and power of God; flaws are openings.” The more we hide our flaws, the more we point people to us not Jesus. The less we see our own brokenness, the more broken we really are. Case and point. HOPE is found in Isaiah 53:5 says “But He was wounded for the wrong we did; He was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment which made us well, was given to Him, and we are healed because of HIS wounds.” Friend, you and I are mended and repaired and WHOLE because HE was broken not because of anything we did or our own self confidence. Let’s stop getting it twisted.
Is ambition wrong?
Let’s talk about it. In Luke 10:41-42 we see Jesus’ encounter with Mary and Martha. While Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to Him, Martha was busy trying to get the house + food together. Eventually she got frustrated that Mary wasn’t helping her and here is Jesus’ response “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
There are 3 areas of struggle that I have discovered in my life when it comes to work and ambition: #1: I feel shame and guilt about being productive OR busy. #2: I take pride in how busy I am and measure my worth by my productivity. #3: I can’t always distinguish if my ambition is prideful or holy.
Here is what I have found: There is a very big difference between a prideful hustle and a holy hustle. When pride is the foundation, you will find that you get discouraged quickly, you’re unable to rest, and you’re striving more than surrendering. When the foundation is to give God glory and use the gifts He has given you FOR Him, the outcome is different. You work with all your heart and you rest with all your heart (Colossians 3:23). There is peace. There is contentment. You acknowledge that there is a time to work and a time to be still.
Work is one of our God-given functions, friends. We can praise God through various types of work whether it’s preaching, teaching, building companies, raising families, etc. A strong work ethic is highlighted often in scripture. Work and ambition isn’t itself the problem. It ultimately comes down the heart, motivation, and priorities. If our motivation is to serve God with our work while ensuring that He is getting the glory, we are on the right track. If our motivation is to glorify ourselves, we are off track. I encourage you to sit before the Lord with this subject and let Him lead.
Do you BELIEVE God?
Hebrews 11:31 “By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with the those who were disobedient [or unbelieving].”
Have you ever connected disbelief and disobedience? I hadn’t until this morning. How true is it though? When we BELIEVE GOD (not just believe in God), we make different decisions. When we BELIEVE HIS Word, HIS promises, HIS timing, HIS way, HIS love, HIS truth, HIS sovereignty…it drives and nourishes our obedience.
When we DON’T believe Him, then we find ourselves taking matters into our own hands, striving instead of surrendering, falling into sin, making our own idols, and growing in disobedience. Need proof? Just look at the entire journey of the Israelites in the old testament. My life is proof too.
Yesterday was Sabbath for me. It has been a LONG time since I have taken a full day to sit longer with Jesus, to separate myself completely from my phone, to unplug completely from all business activities, and to be fully present with family and friends. I needed to BELIEVE God when He says that He can and will sustain all things (Hebrews 1:3). That He holds all things together (Colossians 1:17). That God never fails (Joshua 21:45).
I felt God so strongly yesterday and am continuing to this morning. He is with me, and He is with you. It’s been a long time since I have really looked for Him that intently and I certainly don’t want to just be doing that on Sabbath days. I firmly believe that Sabbath influences the other 6 days of the week too. I pray this morning that you would genuinely confront yourself and ask yourself that question “Do I actually believe what God is saying?” If the answer is yes, your choices SHOULD look different from the world.
If you caught my Instagram stories last night (find me on @carenscorner) then you saw I was up WAY past my bed time due to lack of peace. I could not sleep. You see something big had happened in the last coupe of days. I was invited to be a part of a pilot test group within our health and fitness company to test out our newest program with Shaun T (favorite trainer!) that is coming out in 2019. Getting into these test groups is NOT easy! I have been a coach for 3 years and this was the first time I was selected to be in the 100 test group participants out of 400,000 coaches. I had always wanted to be in one…to experience the program before anyone else, give my feedback, etc.
While there was excitement, there was uneasiness. I couldn’t pin point why. I kept asking the Lord to clarify the decision. Yes? No? Nothing. I couldn’t hear Him. So I said, “Alright, I will take a step and I am asking that you would re-direct me if it’s not aligning with Your desire + plan for me.” So I sent the email, signed the contracts, and said yes. Cue my lack of peace and inability to sleep. I got up at 10:30pm and knew in my spirit that this was not the best choice (notice I didn’t say right or wrong…it wasn’t about right or wrong…it was about good and best).
I know many coaches will look at this and say “you’re being a bit dramatic, it’s just 6 weeks, what’s the big deal?” I just knew this. To be in a test group means COMPLETE and nearly perfect participation. You have to in order to see the effectiveness of the program so I totally get that! But there were 3 key reasons why I knew this wasn’t the best for me:
1️⃣It wasn’t best for my family. Point blank…if I can’t easily bring my family into it, I won’t do it. Ever since we took the food freedom course in May, I have finally found a nutrition approach that I can do with my family without ever “pushing” anyone. It’s so simple, realistic, FREEING, with no food rules and you can enjoy treats without guilt. To enroll in a more strict diet for 6 weeks would compromise all of that and it wasn’t worth the risk. I would rather wait till the program launches and still do it full out WITH the principles of this nutrition course.
2️⃣Luca’s birthday is the 26th and mine is October 1st. I refuse to ever miss my kid’s birthday cake. Call me ridiculous. I don’t care. I want to be fully present in those moments without the pressure of “perfection.”
3️⃣Modesty. I know this is a hot topic and I am not here to argue. 1.5 years ago God convicted me of my lack of modesty and so ever since I made a commitment that I will never be in just a bra and shorts. Not in before / after photos…not in workout videos…etc. This would require me to submit them (again I totally get it for the company, just doesn’t align with my values).
Why am I sharing all this with you? 2 reasons:
First, not every opportunity is going to be the BEST for you. Don’t just go along with something because everyone else is. Really seek the Lord to determine if it aligns with your priorities. For me it was my journey with Jesus and my family.
Second, If you are stuck trying to make a decision and you can’t hear God speak, take a step and let Him redirect if necessary. He will. Don’t overthink it.
Will I be committing to this program when it launches in 2019? Of course! I honestly can’t wait. But I will be doing it HIS way and I pray you’ll be joining me then! Thank you for taking the time to hear my heart. I pray this encourages + challenges you too.
Here is the deal: after so many years of following food rules, giving into the all/nothing mindset, being trapped in a yoyo cycle with nutrition and fighting remnants of an eating disorder, I am SO thankful to be able to say I am FREE.
Yes, I still fuel my body with delicious and nutritious food because it makes me MORE effective as a wife, mom, friend, and coach and help me feel my best. BUT, I no longer have this perfectionist hat on my head (which usually just brings out the rebel in me) tracking my every move. I am enjoying TREATS and fun foods again without guilt or shame or regret. I have spent far too much time thinking about what to eat and when to eat it that to finally be free and just listen to my body has been a gift I MUST share.
Enter our FREE4FALL grace camp! Not only are we going to go on a food freedom journey together, but the heart of the group is to also beat the mental rut that kicks in come winter time; seasonal depression and even anxiety. I have found the best way to beat the rut is to develop healthy + holy habits NOW.
FREE4FALL has 4 elements:
1. 2B Mindset - Food freedom nutrition course that will teach you how to listen to YOUR body and learn what works for it through education + tracking. No calorie counting, measuring, deprivation, or food rules. Exercise is extra credit. The goal is to conquer emotional eating, mindless snacking, yoyo cycling, and get rid of the food police ;) See more info on the 2B Mindset HERE!
2. Beat anxiety / depression. We will be reading the book Anxious For Nothing by Max Lucado and camping out in Philippians chapter 4 (hence the 4 in Free4fall!. This book has taught me so much about my own struggles with anxiety and how to CLING TO CHRIST in the storm. While physical health is great, it is meaningless without an internal + SOUL transformation.
3. Community + Accountability. Simple: we are better together. You will be a part of a community of women all going through the same self paced nutrition course as you. We will learn together, pray together, and find freedom together.
4. Me as your personal coach. You will then have me as your coach for life and you can be sure that will be doing one on one check ins with you weekly! While groups are powerful, I also believe the one on ones go a long way.
Are you ready for the details? I am only taking 15 women on this journey with me. I am not here to push you...I am simply here to pull you alongside me if this journey is relevant to your season. I am already lifting you up!
Are you still running away from the One who created you, knows you, loves you, and desires a deep relationship with you? Are you tired of wandering and drifting? Need an anchor for your soul? The anchor is not in outward beauty, or a man, or a child, or a job, or money, or recognition…friend… the anchor is simply Jesus.
Perfection is an illusion. It only leads to relentless self-centeredness and cynicism. Excellence is giving the best you can with what you have. Excellence is faithfulness in the small. Excellence is choosing purpose over preference.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up-
Here is the deal: nothing worth having develops overnight. Seeds planted in the soil hide their growth underground long before their fruit is seen above ground. Our spiritual and physical growth is like that too! Things are always happening inside us that we can't see yet and we simply put our trust in the Father....in the Gardner. We hold on. We take one step at a time. One act of faithfulness and one wise choice at a time. Soon we will see the harvest that God is producing is us and through us.
Whether it’s your health journey or your own walk with Jesus...be patient. Embrace the hard days and the valley...they build character and keep us humble and teachable. Press on, friend. I am always rooting for you and if ever you decide a friend/mentor/coach would be helpful on this journey, I am always an email away.
Do you let your job define your identity? Do you hustle and strive even at the cost of your family? I used to. 2017 was that year for me. A bit more of a personal post today….As an entrepreneur owning my own faith+fitness business, I just wanted to make a difference and provide for my family financially. But then I began to chase success rather than Jesus. 2018 is different. Here is what I can tell you now.
Coaching is not my identity…it’s a placement and position where I can make an impact every day and help my family financially. I no longer hustle and strive trying to force success. I believe my only responsibility is to be faithful in loving people, serving them, encouraging them, sharing with them, providing them with quality programs + tools, asking them questions, inviting them to pursue Jesus and take care of their health with me, and lead my team with humility…then the outcome is in the hands of God. If I succeed, it is because God allowed it. It takes His grace and sovereignty + me owning and committing to my daily responsibilities…the outcome is His.
One of the scriptures my dad shared with my team last night on our team call was from Proverbs 21:31: “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.” We have to be prepared and do our part in our work…and then the victory is the Lord’s.
Regardless of what your job is, I pray you understand that your job is not your identity but simply your profession. Honor God in it and work as though you are working for HIM…then trust Him with the rest. You don’t need to let it consume your life and be all you do…you don’t need to strive to the point you neglect your family and other God given responsibilities. Work well in the time you DO have and then leave it. If ever you have considered the coaching business alongside myself and my team, I hope now you have a better understanding of who I am as a team leader and coach. I don’t want coaching to be your life or consume your life. It would simply be an extra platform to serve, make an impact, and provide for your family. That’s it. Don’t overcomplicate it. If you're interested in becoming an online faith+fitness coach alongside our team, click the button below!
A Bit About ME!
Hey friend! My name is Caren and I am so glad you stopped by! This blog is a bit of my corner on the internet where I share honest thoughts about my faith journey, fitness journey, doctor wife journey, and motherhood journey. ALL of it! The good bad and ugly! I pray that something I share encourages you today!