September 6, 2017

Win it: Sparkle While You Do it!✨

Posted in Devotional, true story tagged , , , , , , , , , at 5:07 am by Broken & Brave

You don’t read a song, you sing it.
You don’t play and instrument, you touch it. Your heart and passion does the playing.

You don’t dream a dream,
you live it…

When I was a teen I fell in love with fitness and all things related to health and fitness. Magazines were still read back then and I wasn’t into the normal girly teen magazines so much as I was drawn to the fitness driven magazine. I remember watching the Olympia on television and being captivated. Not by the male competitors, but the women. I was completely attracted to the physique and finished edges of their chiseled frames.

I had a stationary bike in my bedroom at my parents house and I would put my old school Walkman to use as I did my own little personal spin class before spin classes were even marketed in gyms. I guess I had vision and innovation. Too bad I didn’t have the insight to realize that I had a few good ideas and could’ve marketed them to the general population! Even in college, while studying nutrition, I dreamed of nutrition and fitness counseling, not planning menus in a hospital or retirement home (which is what most people in my field of interest did with such a degree in the early 90’s).

Imagine how surprised I was when I began having literal dreams about competing in bodybuilding after birthing my FIFTH child! I kind of blew it off at first. But these dreams began to increase and persist. I began experiencing a series of events that all highlighted to me the possibility that God actually wanted me to begin to compete. Was He crazy? I mean, where was this idea when I was 25? God is so unique, He’d been planting His plans for my life all along, writing my song and singing it to my heart.

You know, Heaven is full of love songs written exclusively for you. Only God can correctly carry the tune and sing the melody of heart in just the right key to cause your heart to swell and the melody to swing. Then we sway in the direction He leads. At least, that’s how the Holy Spirit is with me.

After much prayer and discussion all of this with my husband (who was 100% ultra supportive of my venture despite the enormous commitment and sacrifice it would require from us all) I began to prepare for my first show.

I had no figure coach. My husband assisted me as we constructed a sports specific training program design and the nutrition, well, that’s my department.

I began to study everything I could on how to prep and pose and hold my presence. Bodybuilding is about presentation, head to toe. It’s not just the symmetry and clean lines. It’s the poise, the walk, the finesse. Stage Presence. All of which continues to prove to me that God has a sense of humor because I’ve never cared less to be under any spotlight of any stage. I don’t like it actually. Maybe that’s why He asked me…

From day one this figure competition thing has been 100% about Him and has very little to do with me. How can that be you ask? Because I am obeying the Lord. I have stepped into a world of fitness as fashion full of models. But when you spend time with these people, and most I’ve met are wonderful people, they are real and authentic and broken and hurting and inspiring and looking for things to fill their hearts void. What a Beautiful opportunity I have to build relationship in this community. And that’s what I have done. To me, what goes on back stage is just as important on “game day” as all the preparations made to prepare my physical appearance to step on that stage. Every single time I both hate it and love it. Every single time I agree with my Father to dig deep and continue to compete. The older my children get and more diverse their interests and time demands, the even harder it becomes. It’s hard enough as a Mom to take care of yourself when you’re taking care of everybody else. But all the meal prepping, measuring, calculating, training, training, TRAINING!!! It isn’t easy.

But here’s something beautiful. My first show I truly didn’t know what to expect or what I was doing. I was 300% out of my comfort zone. I swore I wouldn’t do it again…for about 5 minutes. Then I was daring myself to dig in and see what I could really do. So I immediately entered another show that was only another two weeks out. This second show was a much bigger show. 100+ competitors all top notch. Very intimidating crowd.

I loved that show.

IMG_9671

 

I didn’t place all that well in any of my classes. 4th across the board. I never go into a show feeling ready. No matter how I place. But this show was significant for other reasons.

I met a woman last summer who I was about to compete against in the same class same show. She was friendly and engaged me in conversation immediately as we waited for the dressing rooms to be ready for us to use. In a bodybuilding show they have to paper the walls and floors to protect the surface from all that awesome (sarcasm inserted here) fake tanning products. As we waited she said something to the effect, “You must win all your shows.” I was a bit floored. “Me?”

I see everything that I still need to work on, but she saw something else.

She proceeded to tell me she had seen me compete before. She saw me in that big show I just described to you. The one pictured above. She was there to support a friend I competed against that day (who I knew and remembered as well). She told me I was the reason, the inspiration, she lost weight got in shape and decided to compete. Me… floored again.

Why inspired by me? Why not the woman who won the whole darn thing?

Because of God!!!!

This is what I have always aspired to do! Not necessarily that fit looks like a competitor, but if I can achieve THIS despite all the potential “can’t” excuses, then maybe the woman who can’t get motivated to care for herself will begin to try and believe that she CAN!  To inspire people as a fitness model on all levels! Health and fitness and also spiritual emotional wellness and fitness!

 

IMG_7888

I won that day. I only did 3rd and 4th place on the stage in my two classes…but I won. I won because of those words she had to say. I was blessed beyond measure and realized on a deeper level how important it is to God we obey to do the unconventional methods He instructs in us. It possesses power to reach people in one way or another that doesn’t look like a traditional methodology. That is what I love.

This story is an example of true Joy. My educational background and society around me teaches that you can’t give what you don’t have so learn to love yourself then maybe you will be able to love others. My Bible and my life experience says, “Want Joy? Want happiness? Desire satisfaction and contentment of soul? Love others and you will find your gold.”

I have found by personal experience that when I focus my heart to loving and caring for others most…I have found myself, my Joy, my happiness as a by product. Loving others, serving others, has refined my focus and stoked and highlighted within my own heart the things that make me happy. The things that I feel passionate about. The things I was created to do. The person God created me to be. True Peace is in Jesus, not my form, not my name, not a picture of me with a trophy in a frame. True Joy is in giving ourselves fully to Jesus. It is not enough to camp out next to the River. We must get into the Water. We must fully submerse ourselves in Him. Joy is in serving and loving others while placing our own personal wants and desires last.

J-Jesus
O-Others
Y-Yourself

You’ve got something special within that sparkles bright. It catches the Light and magnifies it causing a glimmer in the eye of those who look upon you. Sparkle Bright. Your Shine has power to dispel the Night. Radiance is all about you.

Keep digging. You’re winning.

~Nicole

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

1 Cor. 9:24-27

 

 

 

Advertisements

June 18, 2017

Heartbeat of a Winner

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:20 am by Broken & Brave

You are a Winner!

Champion does not mean first place-first prize.

A Champion is an ardent defender of purpose and people. God is your defender. He is ardent, unwavering, in his devotion to humanity. You count on him to do what only he can do and he will do it for you. You can trust him! Many times we SAY we trust him, but then we continue to take care of everything ourself. We believe he will bless our effort and that’s the extent of our trust. But what about trust that reaches beyond borders into unchartered waters and He alone is your compass or map? This is an entirely different trust zone.

You never go alone. You can count on him to help you win. Winning is about overcoming all that holds you back within so you can go out and help everyone around you. Glorious! ~Nicole

“When you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly answer.” Isaiah 58:9