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!
Good morning and happy Saturday! I am excited to start blogging more consistently again. I've missed it!
As many of you know, May I started taking a nutrition class that has put me on a path to experience food freedom. I was so ready to stop the yoyo cycle, stress + emotional eating, and just straight up lack of discipline with nutrition and this course did just that! It simplified everything again. No counting calories, containers, measuring stuff...and exercise was extra credit. What? So different. But it was everything I needed. And then my mom came to visit last week.
Our human nature is to choose what is easy and comfortable isn’t it? I avoided the hard look at nutrition because I knew it was messy, undisciplined, and felt intimidating to tackle. Until now. Can we also talk about how amazing my mom looks?! She has come a long way herself! One of the most important things I wanted to do as a health coach was influence my own family system first and I’m so proud of both her and my dad for how much they’ve transformed their kitchen and mindset!
Back to nutrition, if food continues to be one area in your life that feels as messy as it did for me...maybe even hopeless, this course WILL change your mindset and leave you empowered. It’s not too late to join my friends and I as we go through the course from the beginning this week! If this course is tugging on your heart, find the registration form>> here <<for us to connect.
Best part is now on the 3 days off, my husband son and I are enjoying 20 min jogs together! Luca LOVES being in the jogging stroller! I am not the biggest fan of running but this gives me life...being with my family. And it's not just me loving the flexibility and grace this program provides. Check out some of these testimonies so far from the ladies in our faith and fitness group for this program:
Our world is quick to seek a short cut and choosing the wide road over the narrow road. The truth is, faithfulness isn’t easy. Quitting is easier. Short cuts are easier. Faking who we are is easier. Lying is easier. Netflix is easier. I could go on…
Choose faithfulness today and if you need the accountability, I am always here and willing.
Jesus spoke to my heart and simply said “Talk with me while you run as if we are two friends going for a run and catching up on life.” He knew I had been struggling to get the words out for some time about how I’ve been feeling. But through running, I was somehow completely myself and totally unfiltered. I talked like a child…His child. Here is the heart of the conversation:
When it comes to my faith + fitness business, I set goals to impact lives every day. This month alone I have a goal to impact 20 homes in faith and health. I literally printed out a sheet with 20 empty circles that I pray over and fill in each household’s name as they commit to working with me. I am consistent, passionate, relentless, and disciplined when it comes to that mission. I take it seriously as my responsibility. But somewhere along the way, I lost sight of THE mission.
What if I became THAT consistent, passionate, relentless, disciplined, and focused on those empty circles not just for an impact in health but as lives encountering JESUS. As I was running I began to pray asking for clarity. I KNOW there is a calling with what I do as a coach. I KNOW it can be an extension of THE mission and is a way to advance the gospel but could it be that it I’ve allowed it to hinder me from day to day opportunities to advance the gospel? Have my business hours stopped me from speaking to my neighbor and getting to know them? Have I had to rush home from church or any social event to work on my social media platforms when I was needed to stay and further the conversations I was in? Have I been saying no to other ministry opportunities because I don’t want to take away time from this platform as a coach?
I love Jesus. I love how gentle He is with us as His children. I felt the warmth of his heart as I was nearly hyperventilating on that run (I don’t run-worth repeating). I felt Him gently speak to me and say “Caren, coaching IS a calling for you and it IS a platform I am using through you and will continue to. You CAN reach many in my name using health as a stepping stone to deeper conversations. I am not saying leave it, I am saying give me that same effort, that same heart, that same passion, that same discipline, that same consistency, that same fire, that same joy in the mundane and unexpected opportunities that aren’t on your agenda. Give me the space to reach people through you in ways you least expect and don’t turn them down because you worry about having less hours to accomplish your other responsibilities. Learn to depend on me, fully. I can do more with your less than you can do with your more. Oh and when it comes to Luca (I use him as an excuse a lot for why I can’t do things), take him with you. You are here as an ambassador parent to represent ME as His Father and the mission I have also called Him to as well. He needs to witness it daily from his parents. So stop using him as an excuse and take him with you.”
Wow. You know, it is scary to share my heart on this subject because it can be taken many different ways. Perhaps for a minute you thought I was turning away from coaching. Not even close. If anything, it continues to be affirmed. I see now that God desires to widen our perspective to help us impact lives locally, regionally, and globally. Coaching allows me to do that and I am so grateful for that responsibility. What happened on that run is I was reminded that there is a world right outside my front door that needs the Good News and I can become so busy and caught up in my own to do list that I miss it. So while I will continue praying over homes to impact in health, there is a fire in me to daily look for opportunities to share Jesus with others boldly. We are in a race, brothers and sisters. We can’t lose sight of WHY we run. The gospel wasn't intended to stop with us but to be extended through us. That is why we run.
My bible + my workout.
This has been my morning routine for some time (also always includes my morning energy juice because I am really not THAT much of a morning person!). But there is something so beautiful about spending time with Jesus and then NOT leaving Him once my Bible closes. Instead, I invite Him into my sweat session. I don’t take care of this body so I can show it off, so I can hit a certain number on the scale, so I can be in a certain size, or so I can love myself. I take care of my body because it’s the only one I am given on earth. What is my purpose on earth? To know God and make God known. I can’t do that as effectively when I am distracted by anxiety, restlessness, fatigue, lack of mobility, and even pride.
I am looking for TEN women who are ready to lay down their pride, complacency, mediocrity, and inconsistency with their health. I am not perfect. I am not better than you. I am not here to shame you. I am simply a woman whom God has redeemed and extended deep grace to. I am a woman who has learned the importance of extending kindness and grace to myself as I surrender all I do to the Lord INCLUDING my health.
July 16 I am taking a certain number of women who are overwhelmed by the idea of working out and want to keep it simple. 10 women who are willing to commit 4 days a week, 30 minute workouts, and carving out 2 minutes every morning for the devotional videos I will be posting each day to keep us focused on Jesus. 10 women who are willing to FULLY commit and not “kinda sorta do it” because you only then get “kinda sorta results.”
Drop me an email at 💌email@example.com with subject “COMMITTED” or fill out this form. I can’t sit on the sidelines quietly watching so many of us “just keep swimming” when we can RISE together and thrive. People out there need our love, support, and testimony…we need to have the energy to share it without limitation. You ready?
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!