Commitment is a repetitive choice.

My four year wedding anniversary is today. Four years of marriage, and over eight years of our relationship.

Wikipedia says that the newlywed period can last up to four years (and Wiki knows everything), so it’s officially over with this anniversary. I haven’t considered myself a newlywed in a couple years though, because I’ve had to choose to love my husband several times over.

Commitment isn’t magic. It isn’t being so infatuated with someone that nothing else in the world matters. Because other things do matter. Other people matter. Life outside of your marriage MATTERS. Commitment to my husband is a repetitive choice to return home even when I’m boiling mad at him, to love him when he’s annoying, to respect him when I disagree, to push him when I know he needs it, to support him in everything, and to surprise him by putting my coffee cups in the dishwasher every once in a while.

Commitment is realizing that you’ve made mistakes, sometimes big ones, in how you’ve prioritized your relationship, how you’ve treated him, how you reacted or responded to an issue. Then you learn from that mistake, tighten your ponytail, and make the choice to be committed and present in your marriage.

We struggle with commitment in other places than our human relationships.

A little over 5 years ago, I committed myself to a healthier lifestyle. I started running, and working out, and paying attention to what I ate. Much like a young married person, I may not have known exactly what that meant when I jumped into it. I counted calories, seeing how low I could get, thinking that 100 calorie packs of Cheezits and frozen diet dinners were good food choices. My heart was in the right place, which is what matter with commitment. The important part is that I was committed to learning about health, adjusting as I go, and doing my best to implement the knowledge and experience that I gained along the way.

Food and humans aside, we also struggle with commitment in our relationship with Christ. He is, in every sense, the perfect spouse. He loves us unconditionally while still pushing and challenging us to be the best version of ourselves, the true creations He made us to be. But He knows that we will fail, and is ready to catch us when we fall.

Commitment to any of these, marriage, health, or God, cannot be a commitment to perfection. We can never attain it and will become so discourage that we will quit trying. When we are committed to the things that matter, we have to be committed to the repetitive choice, to constant learning, and to seeking knowledge, wisdom, and discernment in these areas.

In her book, The Best Yes (which I totally recommend), Lysa Terkeurst writes:

“Knowledge is wisdom that comes from acquiring truth. Insight is wisdom that comes from living out the truth we acquire. Discernment is wisdom that comes form the Holy Spirit’s reminders of that knowledge and insight.”

This correlates with MUCH of the first several chapters of Proverbs. In particular, Proverbs 4:7 says, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.”

If you continue to read in Proverbs, you’ll see how the author describes wisdom as a path to follow, as something to be gained over time, and a skill to be learned and practice. Wisdom, and commitment, is not something you can just decide to have and exercise perfectly from day 1. It is the practice of repetitive choice.

We are going to fall off the wagon in any area we commit. We are sinful, imperfect creatures locked in a battle that we are destined to lose on our own. The good news is we are not on our own. God understands that and sends the Holy Spirit to be with us in this battle.

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:26-28.

Commitment is a battle. Even the Apostle Paul battled for it…

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.” 2 Tim. 4:7

So I fight for my marriage, every day. I choose to love him over and over. I fight for my health. I strive for the balance of a sustainable lifestyle of mostly good choices with enough treats to keep my sanity. I fight for my faith. In a world where so many others want to tell me what my relationship with Christ is supposed to look like, what a ‘good Christian’ does, who a ‘good Christian’ votes for… the struggle is to focus on God, and ONLY God. To listen to His voice, not the clamoring human noise. To see myself as He sees me, and to be what He made me to be.

These are winding paths, full of opportunities for growing in wisdom. I choose to keep walking. And then I choose again, and again, and again, and again…

Real Food for Spiritual Health

This podcast stemmed from a passage from Shauna Niequist’s devotional book ‘Savor.’

She writes about the importance of food, and the rituals and traditions that we have built around real food.

The obvious spiritual tradition is the Euchurist, or Communion. The act of taking bread and wine in remembrance (either via symbolism or transubstantiation) of Christ’s sacrifice for us. The Last Supper is something that even non-Christian’s know. A meal so important that it changed the course of history.

But food has become inconvenient for us. Fast food, quick frozen dinners, packaged and processed snacks to fill our bellies with the least amount of time and thought possible. Modern technology is NOT a bad thing. We are busy and sometimes just need to eat really quickly. But what are we sacrificing by doing so?

We talk and connect over food. There’s a reason we ‘break bread’ with people to make peace. It’s hard to be mad while eating good food. Holiday meals are where memories are made. I love cooking with my family on Christmas eve. It’s not even the food that I love (though it is delicious); it’s joking and laughing over cookie dough and casseroles in the kitchen.

We focus on real food and clean eating so much for our health. It’s a big buzzword. Everyone is ‘eating clean’ or going ‘whole.’ Yes, it’s fantastic for your health and is the cornerstone for a healthy lifestyle. But it’s also an important concept for our spiritual health, recognizing the importance and ritual of real food.

Little River Canyon Half Marathon

I love this race. If I can slog through 13.1 miles, I will always run slog through this race.

I’m really not into running at the moment. Can’t say why, just not. It was my jam for years. But lifting weights, teaching P90X, running challenge groups are all bringing me better results and more joy at the moment. Honestly, I feel a little guilty about it. But I know I shouldn’t. Life is about seasons. I’m sure there will be another running season soon.

But this race was enough to convince me to train. Well, to train enough to finish at least. I was not sufficiently trained to run it like I usually do. It hurt. Half marathons used to be fairly easy. This one was NOT. But this is a beautiful race in one of my fave places ever.

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Lookout Mountain at the corner of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. The Little River cuts through the canyons of Alabama’s Appalachians. The cliffs and rock formations are amazing. I went to camp and worked up here at Camp Skyline Ranch for much of my adolescent and early adult summers. This place made me who I am. I don’t say that lightly. Dead truth.

Interesting fact: this is Alabama’s own earthquake fault line. No joke. There have been earthquakes, and recent ones at that, coming from the Canyon.

The race starts at the Little River Canyon Center, which is run by Jacksonville State University. The proceeds from the race go to support the Center and all the activities they have. It’s a cheap race in comparison with a lot of others, only $50. So I’m great with forking my cash over for a good cause and great views.

It winds around the rim of the Canyon for a good 7 miles. This is where most of my detours occur. I leap off the road and race over to the edge of the cliff to get a decent view of the overlooks. I do this several times, racing to try to catch up after each, which I never really do. It’s okay. That’s not the point.

Then you get into the farmland on top of the mountain. Randy Owen, member of the band Alabama, has a large piece of this, along with several family members. He opens his farm to the runners, sets out a water stop with cookies and gels, and even rents the one and only porta-potty for the race. It’s a super nice, clean one, with tons of toilet paper. These things matter for runners. Trust me.

We do a large loop through his family farmland, then cut back through some other homesteads on the mountain to end up back at the Canyon Center.

Yes, there are lots of hills. It’s not a PR kind of course. Again, not the point.

THIS is the point.

Trust the Process

What happens when your calling seems to fall apart?

Moses was clearly called to speak for the Hebrew people, but his efforts only seemed to make things worse for them at first. He could have given up, refused to follow God’s calling for his life, declared it too hard. But he didn’t. He trusted God’s process. It had to get worse for the Hebrew people before it got better.

This can and will happen to us. This world is not perfect. It is full of struggle, strife, and other imperfect humans. Sometimes, for a situation to reach the end that God intends, it must get ‘worse’ first.

My fourth wedding anniversary is coming up in a couple of weeks. I can’t help but remember the months leading up to my wedding this time of year. While I had a lot of fun planning my wedding and spending time with my bridesmaids, there were some significantly difficult struggles in trying to bring our families together as one. To put it plainly, it was painful. It made me wonder if I was pushing something that wasn’t meant to be. Wasn’t love supposed to be easy? But as soon as I would raise that thought, a deep knowing would come over me, deep in my bones. I knew this man was for ME. God made us as a pair.

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Four years later, our marriage is stronger because we had to fight for it before it even began. It didn’t fall into place. We had to choose each other when that choice wasn’t made easy. Our path will never be perfect. There are going to be countless struggles as the years come. I’m glad to have started my marriage with the conscious choice to push through, to trust God’s process.

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If your path gets dark and tangled, pause and pray. (I envy Moses for his clear messages and direct conversations with God.) If you have prayed about it, and know that the path is correct, don’t quit! God’s process is divine and intentional. Only He can see the big picture and know how it all fits together. Our struggle is part of the process. Trust the process.

Imposter Syndrome and Moses

Since the beginning of the summer, I’ve been slowly reading my way through the Bible. I got a new bible, one of the journaling ones where you are actually encouraged to write and draw in it. I’ve got a few of those cute little quote drawings, but I mostly just wanted something I was allowed to underline and scribble on without fear of being struck down by the Bible police or something.

I found a ‘Bible-in-a-year’ reading plan, and have been going at it for a few months now. The plan I chose has you skipping around a little. Each day usually consists of a chapter or two in the Old Testament, starting from Genesis, and then a chapter or two from Psalms or the New Testament. This plan suited me because, …well, because the Old Testament is boring.

Continue reading

Free October Fitness Challenge Group!

It’s rare, like the harvest moon. But we’ve opened the October Challenge group for anyone and everyone to take part. It is a 21 day fitness and nutrition challenge, based on the 21 day fix and 21 day fix extreme programs. Click HERE to join!


Usually, our groups are reserved for our customers. We provide individualized coaching, are available for support and questions, give out recipes and encouragement, and just generally keep each other accountable as we progress through our challenge. This one is special. We are opening the October challenge group, even if you are not a customer of ours yet. This is your chance to see the inside of a challenge group first hand. 

While you will not have the same workout or nutrition tools, I will provide some general clean eating meal plans and links to various free workouts. No gimmicks, no strings, no hidden agendas. We are providing you with a free month long challenge group, with valued workout and nutrition advice, with yummy recipes, and with encouragement and support. 

My hope is that you like what you see and want to stick around as a customer in the future. But you are more than welcome to simply hang out for October, soak up the good info, and then go on your own way. No hard feelings. This isn’t about me, or my business. It’s about you, and providing you with valuable information to help you along your health journey. I’ve had plenty of people help me for free, and I’m simply paying back the favor.
So head over to the group and add yourself!

High Impact Sports Bras for Larger Chests

I’ve lost weight in my chest since the beginning but I still can’t rely on those flimsy colorful sports bras or any silly built-in running tank. Having a good sports bra can make the difference between a great workout or a miserable experience. Ever chafed under your bra during a long distance race? Yeah. It’s awful. 


So here are my tried and true suggestions. You should note that they ALL are sized with cup and band (like 34D) rather than just a general small/medium/large type size. Fit is key. When in doubt, go to the experts and get measured. Your shorts and shirts can be cheap. But spend the money on shoes and bras. 

My favorite sports bras for any workout (from bottom left going clockwise): 
1. @moving_comfort Juno – This is a beast. It’s gonna hold you and hold you tight. I like it because of the higher coverage and the adjustable padded straps. It has an adjustable band in the back as well to customize your fit. Fits true to size. You can get fitted and buy MC at @fleet_feet_birmingham .

2. Underarmour UA Armour Bra – This is the best bra since sliced bread and @underarmourwomen discontinued it. But you can still find it on eBay and Amazon! It’s so comfortable and never chafes. I wear this for every half marathon I run. Go down a cup size as it runs a little big. 

3. Moving Comfort Rebound Racer – This one is lighter weight that the Juno, but it still provides excellent hold and coverage. Again, it has adjustable straps and band. True to size. 

4. @champion Show Off – I had a couple of these until one melted in the dryer. Sad day. It’s not quite as good as my others, but it’s also significantly cheaper. Great buy for the price, especially if you workout every day and need multiple to avoid having to do laundry excessively. I don’t use it for long distance running but it provides good coverage and hold for other activities like weight lifting, yoga, and #jiujitsu . 

Motivated Morning 5 Day Challenge

Having a morning routine has become a key element of having a productive day for me. I’m not alone in this. There are LOTS of people who use the morning as their time to get ahead. It’s the perfect time to get in a workout, do some reading, or work on a side business before the day gets in the way. It’s also quiet, before anyone else gets up.

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I used to be a snooze button person, like multiple times. And, to be honest, I still hit it every once in a while. But I feel like I’m missing something when I do, and I feel scattered and rushed.

I think the world would be a better place if more people had the tools to make their own “motivated morning” routine. So I’m giving them to you!

I’ve created a worksheet guide with fill-in questions to walk you through setting up your own perfect morning routine. It contains a BUNCH of resources that I use all the time. Completely free, just throw your email in below and it will come to you.

Note: My automated email can get caught in your spam filter or junk box, even though you are asking for the email. So if you don’t receive it within a few minutes, check there first. 

Day 14: 21 Day Fix Extreme Yoga

Fourth of July holiday weekend in full swing. It’s nice to do Yoga on Sunday morning when you don’t have that work pressure of Monday morning looming. Taking my workouts outside was the best idea I’ve had. Love my own Alabama version of “hot yoga.”

Lovely evening with friends later too in which I managed to stay on plan…okay, like 95%. When someone makes homemade apple dumplings, it’s only polite to take a bite in appreciation.

So grateful for these ladies.

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