Love is the Root

Love is the ROOT from which the FRUIT grows.

This was a thought that came to me during prayer time. We must press in to comprehend what is the height, depth, length, width of His great love for us.  Out of this understanding we will not only find rest, but all of the fruit blossoms out of this restful understanding.  Also, out of the overflow of this comprehension will we love others.  It’s no longer a challenge or struggle to love when we truly understand the depths of His love for us.

love is the root

Peace and grace,



This Will Change Your Marriage

This Will Change Your Marriage

How God has changed my marriage, my husband, and most importantly my heart. Really he changed the course of my marriage. It was a marriage that could have ended up loveless and unhappy, but instead is on a course to remain vital, full of love & joy. It was the change in my heart and attitude by His grace that I believe totally changed the track of my marriage.

Illustrations of Attitude

Going through pictures on my iPhone, I had sort of an epiphany…an astounding amazement at what God has done in my heart over the years. There’s a picture of the girls at fall festival on Halloween night, a picture of our empty house, videos from the playground near the OKC airport… These might not seem astounding to you, but let me explain.

I costumed and took the girls to the fall festival by myself. I moved out of our house into an apartment at 31 weeks pregnant.  The girls and I went to the playground after taking Paul to the airport so that he could take a business venture trip.  These details are not the amazing part.  The amazing part is the picture of my attitude that these pictures illustrate.

I was not resentful Halloween night of Paul running to the store instead of going with us.  It only occurred to me for a brief second that night and then later as I was just looking at these pictures to even be upset.  We had a wonderful time! It was a sweet experience that I got to share with my girls.

We are building another house that began to run slowly.  We had to rent our house out before the other house was done for financial reasons (and move into a smaller apartment with my father in law.  This is the THIRD pregnancy where I have lived at least part of the time with my father in law).  Not moving the way we did would have put immense stress on my husband to provide for basically two house payments or to find renters at a very undesirable time, think Thanksgiving/ Christmas. But I spent as much energy as I could muster packing and cleaning and moving, and I never gave much thought to myself, my condition, or my needs. It only occurred to me later that I could have been a little aggravated by this.

Paul is such an entrepreneurial type of person. It’s the way God made him.  I believe after praying for him for so many years that God has strongly gifted him this way.  Since that is the way he is wired, he is always going after training, leads, opportunities. When he said he wanted to fly to visit a friend for a type of business training for a few days, my heart without hesitation supported him. Even though I am very pregnant with two toddlers and working, (and packing for a move! Lol) it never even occurred to me to be upset. The picture of the girls at the playground after I dropped him off illustrates my positive attitude in the midst of this circumstance that I could have been negative.

I really don’t say these things to brag on myself.  Honestly, my heart felt like it was going to burst when I realized how much my perceptions and attitudes had changed, but it was all because I realized how much God was doing in my heart (and in my marriage relationship).  Looking back even further, I’m realizing some ways that God is continuously changing my heart.  I’m blogging about it because it changed my marriage, and this will change your marriage. I guarantee it.

5 Principles for a Changed Marriage -

  1.  Humble Yourself: When I first got married, I had this view of myself.  I was a fiery, passionate prayer and worship warrior.  I was mature in the Word.  I was zealous in praying with everyone about everything. My husband was not. He knew of several bible verses.  he lived his life and made choices based on biblical principles.  He prayed a very short prayer before meals. He wasn’t too into worshipping or worship music even. I was amazed and burdened by how much my husband did not measure up to the standard I expected my husband to measure up to…You know-to be the husband of a passionate destined prayer warrior like myself? I was worried too that this immature Christian would pull me down to his level like I had learned at vacation bible school where all the other kids stood on the ground and tried to pull a person down off a chair to illustrate how much easier it was to pull someone down than up.  I was concerned that I had made a marriage choice to be “unequally yoked”.

One night God gave me a dream.  In the dream, at first there was that picture of a child on a chair attempting to be pulled down by others on the ground.  I knew this was a flashback to that memory and principle that had been ingrained in my conscience.  Then it was like the hand of God moved the slide over, out of sight. In the next scene, there were two sapling trees. One tree was tied to the other. One tree might have been a little older than the other, but they were both saplings. I watched as the wind sort of blew and the trees were strengthened by being tied to one another.  It was like God was saying with the first slide, “this is the way you see it.” and then with the second, “this is the way it truly is.”

Paul and I were both babies.  We were both drowning in sin and in need of God and a savior.  We were both early on our journey with God.  We would both one day be OAKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, but right now we both had a lot of growing to do.

I later discovered that much of the simplicity of Paul’s thinking and his unquestioning acceptance of truth gave him an advantage in many ways.  I might have known more verses, but Paul operated from a stronger biblical foundation in many situations than I did. Times that I was filled with worry, Paul walked with a calm, resolute strength that came from faith.

I needed to realize that I held myself in too high esteem when it came to my Christian walk. The truth is that I was a sinner, broken and weak.  And that I had been made new and whole.  When God looked at me, he saw Christ.  And when God looked at Paul, he saw Christ. We also both have a lifetime and eternity of growing from glory to glory in our maturity.

You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

Song of Solomon 4:7

2.     Take your “list” to God (and leave it).  When we first got married and still now, I had a long list of things that Paul need to improve in:

  • He needed to lead the family in prayer, worship, and study times daily.  He needed to make prayer and study a priority for himself.
  • He needed to take initiative for us to have times together as a couple with the LORD. After all, “a couple that prays together stays together”.  I said this to him often in the hopes, implying the question “umm…do you want to stay together or what?!” or maybe even more than implying sometimes.
  • He needed to work on maturing his prayer language and confidence in prayer.  His boldness in praying for others needs and looking to prayer as an answer FIRST (before medicine for example–“Why are you running to get the girls’ Tylenol before you lay hands on them?!)
  • He needed a hunger for the Word.  Often times, he would say something unbiblical and I would say “if you read the word more you would know that’s not right”.  Or maybe in a kinder way I would say, “it would be easier for you to talk to God if you spent more time in the word.” Or list off the other benefits that I know to be true of spending time in the Bible.

While I did pray for these things for him, I didn’t leave it there. I didn’t trust God to start and complete the work.  I felt that my comments and nudges were needed in shaping my husband and moving him towards these goals. Yes I prayed and prayed, but many times I would break down and just begin an argument focused on his weaknesses.

This left him feeling like he was “not enough” (oh my gosh I’m about to start crying.)  He said he felt like he could “never measure up”.  Why did I marry him anyway? (aaaand now I am crying.) The little comments no matter how minor or how far between made him feel like that was what I was thinking about him all the time.

So, when you pray, and you should definitely PRAY, for him…then pray.  But then leave it.  Leave it in God’s care.  He is the overseer of your husband’s soul, and he is faithful to complete the work he began in him.  God hears your prayers, and He is working. You can rest in that.  After all, God wants those things from your husband even more than you do! If you are struggling with not seeing the transformation in your husband and the fruit of your prayers, talk to God about that.   I’ve had moments where God drew back the curtain, where He showed me “the right hand of God” in my husband’s heart, and it filled me with such hope that I was able to continue in prayer and faith for another season.

3.     Pray Positively (don’t use prayer to dog your husband)  Now, I am a believer in prayer and the first step is praying for your husband. But God later showed me that the way I was praying for my husband was wrong.  My prayer times were half pity party, half complaint session.

How often was I thanking God for or discussing with Him my husband’s strengths? Or was I bringing God a list of all the things I thought he should be working on?  You know the bible says that Jesus “lives to intercede for us”.  He is always praying for us.  Do you think he is up there having a pity party “Father, she’s just not giving me the glory I deserve and have earned.” or complaint session “She keeps yelling at the kids. Doesn’t she realize they are precious to me? She’s not using the grace that I freely offered.  If she would just pray more instead of worrying. Ugh!”

No. Jesus prays from a place of love, from a place of seeing us as priceless beauties. I guarantee you he is saying more things in prayer that praise us than are critical.  We need to pray this way too. Ask God to show you your husband’s strengths and his calling, and then thank God for those in prayer.  Use prayer to edify and speak life. I’m not saying that you can’t bring your concerns to God, but it’s the heart behind it.

How would you feel about someone speaking that way about your son or daughter when they were little? You are protective as a mother of the way others speak about your child, not seeing the best in them, not remarking on their strengths but only focusing on their weaknesses. And guess what? Your husband is God’s little child, more precious to him than that baby you held in your arms and raised. Consider this when you pray for your husband.

See your husband as God sees your husband.

this will change your marriage - RunHolyIt’s amazing how when my prayer life began to change, my view of my husband began to change too.  There was a spiritual shift in my own heart and mind. I wasn’t constantly disappointed, worried, or resentful.  I was thankful. Even times I could easily be resentful, I’m thankful. The thoughts that come up in my thought life about my husband are good, edifying thoughts. And an edifying secret thought life about your husband… This will change your marriage.

When thoughts came up about him not eating right/healthy, not making church a priority, or something like that, I would purposely change my thoughts to all the things that I was thankful for and that he did well. If you have been focused on his weaknesses a lot, then it may be difficult for you to find the good qualities to focus on. But it will get easier and the good qualities will become almost all you see and think about.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8

4.    Speak Positively. Kindness leads to repentance. Out of a positive prayer life, the things you say to him and about him will naturally begin to change.  When I was constantly tearing him down and remarking on things that he needed to “work on”, he was not moved to change.  I would say it actually moved him in the opposite direction.  If he could never seem to “measure up” then why even try.

When God speaks to me in those quiet moments, he doesn’t say what I expect him to say. I expect him to say things that I need to work on or comment on things that I am failing in. But he doesn’t say something about when I lost my temper with my daughter.  He says how proud he is of me, what a good mom I am, and how he realizes how hard it is. (aaaand crying again). The moments that I quiet myself and actually listen to him (which is not often enough at all) these are the types of things that he ALWAYS says.  I actually can’t think of one critical thing he has said to me although there may have been a couple times that he did in the gentlest way and from a motivation of complete love.

Are you speaking this way to your husband?  Are you being kind and gentle when he falls short? Trying to be understanding of difficulty that he is going through? Are you speaking to him from a place of who he WILL be? Are you seeing his shortcomings through a lens of love and mercy? Are you telling him constantly about his strengths that God gave him and how much you and God love him?

Actually, let me take a moment to say something else. If this post is ringing true with you, then you are probably a person that is very hard on yourself. (and this carries over to the way you relate to your husband and others) God wants you to know that that verse above from Song of Solomon 4:7-that’s what he says about you and thinks about you.  He sees the best in you.  He sees your strength and who you WILL be. He adores you and believes in you. And he wants you to be gentle and loving with yourself. So try, okay? (talking to myself too)

The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.

Jer 31:3

I led Israel along with my ropes of kindness and love. I lifted the yoke from his neck, and I myself stooped to feed him. (another version says: To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.)
 Hos 11:4

God’s way is to draw us with love.  This is the way that he affects change in us. When he speaks to us in a way that lifts us up, endears us, and communicates all the faith and hope he has in US, that communicates our great value, we begin to see ourselves differently.  We begin to live differently.  We begin to want to walk in that identity, out of love.

That’s the difference.  You might be able to affect change in your husband by nagging him, by listing off his faults, and laying out for him the way that he needs to fix them. But this change will not be from a “want to”.  It won’t be “out of love”.

5.     Keep God’s Glory Central.  Why do you want your husband to change?  Really stop right now and think about that —why?

Is it because your kids need a godly father and model? Or maybe you are afraid without that model, your kids will fall away or have gaps in their Christian devotion.  Is it because you deserve and desire a godly husband? This would make you happy and your marriage strong. Is it because you know that this is ultimately what will bring the most satisfaction to your husband’s heart? Or maybe so that your husband will not miss the fullness of his destiny and calling.

These are all good reasons, but they all have one problem: they all have someone else as the center to the why.  We have to get to a place where we are so in love and so convinced of God’s worth that he is central.  God desires whole-hearted love and He is worthy of all our affection.  Those other reasons are good, but they are not THE reason.

When we operate in our desires and our prayers from the place of His desires, it removes the dysfunction. His desire is filled with so much love. Love for us. Love for the world. Love for His church. Love for himself.

I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me.
Song of Solomon 7:10

His desire for your husband is great. He loves him to the point of death.  He longs for him. He wants your husband to KNOW him.   He yearns to spend time with him.  He wants your husband and mine to worship him because he knows that this is where our hearts come most alive and because God is convinced more than anyone else of his own glory and worth. There is an ache in God’s heart to reveal himself to his most cherished son through his word. God longs to have adventures walking hand in hand with your husband like a father on a hunting trip with his son.

Enter in to God’s desire for your husband.  With longing and love, with perseverance and patience, with kindness and mercy and compassion, with faith confidence and hope, his desire aches and reaches for your husband’s full heart and affection. This is to be root of our prayer life for our husband (and for everything).

This is a constant struggle.  If I take an honest look, there is always something trying to move to the center of my why.  If I am wondering if God’s glory is central or not, I can usually check it against 1 Cor 13. If I’m praying with God’s pure desire and for his heart, then it won’t be polluted with the “love is not”‘s

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

The Work of Grace… This will Change Your Marriage

Your marriage is for God’s glory after all. It is a representation to the world of God and His bride.  It should be filled with joy and love, contentment and peace. It should shine to the world the beautiful loving relationship that God desires with his people.

We’ve been married a short time and hopefully have many years ahead of us.  I’m thankful for the small gradual changes that I’ve seen in my husband, but I’m most thankful for the work that God’s grace has done in MY heart and the way that it has changed my marriage. If you are wanting to change your husband, you have to allow grace to change you.

I am amazed at the change that He has done in me. I was on a course for a discontented and unhappy marriage. A marriage where my husband felt “not enough” and I agreed with him.  I feel content and hopeful about my husband even though I don’t see the fruit of my prayers often times.   I believe in my husband, in his gifts, in his callings.  I am finding that no matter what may happen or any of his failings, I never lose faith in him.  I can support him without misgivings.

My faith after all, ultimately is in the Lord, and his strength never fails.  He promises that no one who waits on Him and hopes in Him will be disappointed.  His timing is perfect and I can trust his leadership and the timing or speed of change that he chooses for my husband.

I am proud to be able to share what God has shown me with you and boast in the Lord. I hope that if you are struggling with any of this that this will help you to enter in to the rest of faith and God’s heart for you and your husband and your marriage.

Quitting Cookies – Plant Based Pregnancy Challenge

Quitting Cookies. Plant Based Pregnancy Challenge

Day 2 & 3

Yesterday was day 2 of my plant based pregnancy challenge. It went pretty well & according to plan until I found myself out and about around dinner time. (I actually had leftover lunch from day 1.) The healthiest choice was Pei Wei so I got some sushi and a Vietnamese chicken salad wrap.

I was actually shocked by how little plants were even in the menu items here. What I got the girls was basically meat, sauce, and rice. And most of the items were the same. The wraps that I got could have been filled with all kinds of colorful veggies like sprouts, red cabbage, carrots…Instead it was basically a chicken & mayonaise mixture. How boring! Plant based recipes are so colorful & creative.

Anyway, this morning I was too tired to make a shake. So I split a Lara bar and banana with Kate.

Plant based pregnancy - grilled tofu Caesar salad- RunHoly.comMy prayer group was having chicken Caesar salad. I grilled up some tofu & cut up some rainbow carrots to take over there. Oh and those are pine nuts on top. It was yummy.

By the way, the ladies broke out desserts including gelato ice cream. Thankfully I had brought a chocolate shakeology shake with be so I was able to abstain.  But sheesh! I told them it was the straight up devil waving gelato in front of a pregnant lady trying to lay off sweets.

Plant based pregnancy - grilled tofu, egg, hominy lettuce wrap- RunHoly.comThen for dinner, Paul & I ate some of that leftover tofu with hominy,  avocado, scrambled eggs, and tomatoes. I put mine in a lettuce wrap. It was so beautiful & delicious.

Tonight when when I was dying for something sweet I mixed up that shakeology brownie batter but added oatmeal, pb, and honey. The girls shared it with me & loved it.

I completed my scheduled Piyo workouts for yesterday & today. The workout today: Drench was rough. It felt great, but as you progress through a workout program, most of the time it should get easier. As I get more pregnant, it actually gets harder.

I’m pretty proud that I have stuck to my 8-week Piyo schedule and only missed a workout the day I was moving. Every now and then I don’t finish all of one, but I give myself credit for the attempt.

You’ve got to be gentle with yourself while pregnant. I tend to be kind of hard on myself.

Well that’s day 2 & 3 of this plant-based pregnancy challenge. Just gotta keep going strong for the next few days. It gets easier once you get back on the plant-based groove.

Daughter of a Narcissist – A Sermon Post

Daughter of a Narcissist – A Sermon Post

On being the daughter of a Narcissist and a sermon post…This is a somewhat personal post about a close friend’s dad. Many who know her know that there are issues and brokenness there.  They have seen many of the struggles, growing up and into adulthood.  Friends from her younger years were always sympathetic that her dad was “weird” and an “a**h&%$”.  In later life, she just heard things like “messed up” and “not right” regarding the way her dad related and his behavior especially as a father of a grown daughter.  What they may not know and what she has now realized is that she is the child of a narcissist. It was during their last painful “break-up” that God led her to some truth on narcissistic personality disorder that brought a lot of freedom to her heart and to her life.  She also realized that there are a lot of adults who are in her situation.

Gaining some insight, perspective, and not feeling alone in this situation really helped.  I don’t know if it made her hopeful that they would ever have a normal relationship as most of the research and testimony on narcissistic personality disorder is not very hopeful, but it showed her how to pray and how to understand their different roles and approaches in relationship.

Also, the bible teaches that as we grow in knowledge and depth of insight that we also grow or ABOUND in love.  I love that word abound. I think about just spilling over, or busting at the seems (like a big can of biscuits my friend Bekah would say).  As she gains insight on her dad’s brokenness, she can meet him there and love him. They might not have a relationship, but she can hold him in love in her heart…meaning she can think loving thoughts when she thinks of him, speak of him, pray for him. She feels this is her duty to honor him because he is the father that Go chose for her. Also, there is only joy found in love and freedom from resentment or bitterness. It’s hard to be bitter when you enter into their brokenness through the eyes of the Father.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,   Philippians 1:9

This sermon was one of the first resources she found that led her on this journey of revelation and freedom. I wanted to share along with a couple other resources for anyone going through the same type of struggle. I’ve also included a lot of material on a narcissistic personality disorder parent.

Power of a Clear Conscience Sermon on Narcissism

Transcript excerpt below:

A year or two ago I told you this story, but I need to retell it because of its relevance to my sermon. There was a man who went to his pastor and said, “You know, my wife is trying to poison me.” The pastor said, “No, wait! I know your wife. She’s a nice woman. There’s no way she’d try to poison you.” He said, “Pastor, she’s trying to poison me. I can even see the poison next to my plate.” He said, “There’s a part of my wife that you don’t understand. I suggest you talk to her.” Well later on that afternoon the pastor came back and said to the man, “You know, I spent three and a half hours speaking with your wife this afternoon. I have a suggestion for you.” He said, “What is it?” The pastor said, “Just take the poison.” (laughter)


Now the reason I’m preaching this message today is so that you don’t have to take the poison. You know, of course, that the theme of this series of messages is found in 1 Timothy 1:5. I hope it’s a verse that you memorize. Paul says this: “The aim of our instruction is love that flows from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.” And I’d like to suggest to you today that those three words are related – to be able to have a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith, because if you don’t have a good conscience, you have no confidence toward God.


Now today we’re going to talk about the conscience in a negative sense, that is to say that the Bible has much to say about people who have a hardened conscience, and we’re going to be talking about them. For example, the Scripture is very clear. It says in 1 Timothy 2 that there will be teachers who are liars, whose consciences are seared. The King James says: “as with a hot iron.” We’re talking about those whose consciences are cauterized. That’s the word that is used there. They are without feeling.


And then also the Bible says in the book of Timothy that there are those who have a defiled conscience. And there’s a whole list of sins that they commit because their conscience is defiled, and they no longer know the difference between right and wrong, and they are blind to their own huge need.


There’s another passage that doesn’t mention the word conscience but my, is it ever relevant to what I am speaking about today. This is 2 Timothy 3:1 and following. I’m going to read the first five verses. You’ll notice it says, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self (That’s what I’m going to speak on today – lovers of self. Notice that the Apostle Paul put it at the head of all of the other sins that he lists.), lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless and (Wow!) unappeasable.” You know, I don’t know how other translations have that word, but this week I was thinking of unappeasable. What a description of some people! And then you’ll notice it says, “slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” “From such people,” Paul says, “turn away. Avoid them if you can.”


Well, that’s quite a list of sins, and what we would like to do today is to take a tour of the human heart. It’s going to be a very painful tour because I’m going to speak to you about narcissism, which is self-love, which stands at the head of all of these other sins. One way to deal with this would be for me to go through and explain what every one of these words means. In a sense I’m going to be doing that but I’m going to be doing it from a different perspective.


So as we speak, I want you to know that to some extent, and I’ll define narcissism in a moment, all of us are narcissists. All of us love ourselves. But there are some people – about 10% of the population – who are actually diagnosed as narcissistic. And these people exist in churches. They are in Christian leadership oftentimes. They can be involved in every one of the vocations. Whether they are attorneys or doctors or factory workers, narcissism – love of self – can be at the bottom of it. One other word, and that is that I am often going to be speaking about he, but it could equally apply to she because whether or not it’s men or women, both can be very narcissistic, as we’ll explain in a moment.


Well this is a topical message actually. I mention that this morning because there are some guests present who are theologians, and so I want them to simply know that I know that this is a topical message. Next week I’m going to speak on the topic why Lady Macbeth didn’t have to commit suicide and why you don’t have to either, and at that point we’re going to be in the book of Hebrews. But today a topical message on self-love!




Narcissism comes to us from Greek mythology. Narcissus was the son of a god supposedly, and he was in love with himself, and he was greatly admired by people. And the story goes that he looked into a pool and saw his image and fell in love with himself so that he couldn’t even eat. He became almost anorexic because he was so enamored with how beautiful he looked, and so we have narcissism.


The other day as I was meditating, it dawned on me that when Satan said to Adam and Eve, “You shall be like God,” that, of course, was fulfilled in some sense that now man is his own god, and I asked myself this question: What is it that God does that the narcissist does? Well, first of all, whatever God does is right. The Bible says our God is in the heavens. He has done whatever He has pleased. By definition, whatever God does is right. The narcissist believes that he’s always right. You can’t teach him anything. He doesn’t learn anything. Because he has this air of superiority, he knows it all. He already has a better perspective than anyone else.


Another characteristic of God is that everything exists for Him. The Bible says in the book of Revelation that all things were created for God, and for His pleasure they were created. Now let me describe a narcissist. He is someone who processes all information through two important questions. How does this make me look? How does this make me feel? Feeling good about himself is incredibly important, and if you mention that someone else is successful he will become very, very envious and even angry that he is not recognized, because everyone else exists for what could be called narcissistic supply, namely to feed their ego. So they have a sense of entitlement. They really believe that the world owes them, and when the world doesn’t stand up and give them what they believe they deserve, what you’ll find is a great deal of anger, disappointment and depression because people aren’t just recognizing who they really are.


Continue reading, listening, watching this sermon here.

A Daughter’s Journey with a Narcissistic Dad

Honestly, Rachelle’s dad was not around very much.  He was in a specialized unit in the military that left him gone a lot. She sees now that even his decision to be in this unit put his needs before his children or family.  She has watched her brother make a different choice in his military career to put his children and family first.  This made her heart very proud and happy for him.  This specialized unit also served to fuel his ego, and this fuel is something that the narcissist seriously needs. So she is able to look back on that decision that seems hurtful and unloving to her or at least to set a low value on her importance to her dad and see that it had nothing to do with her or her value.

Later in life, she began to relate to my dad as an adult. At this point, he had divorced her mom after having multiple affairs. Even this, she is able to see that her mom held her dad on a high pedestal most of their marriage and needed him to a codependent, unhealthy level.  When he was no longer the center of her worship, he lost his need for her and began looking for admiration from other women.

It’s not until many years later that the life experiences of the child of the narcissist start to make a little more sense. Friends often catch glimpses of the kind of ‘crazy’ parenting these individuals received, so he or she starts to get a healthy reality check like this: “Your mom is insane,” or “Your Dad is seriously messed up.” -Psychology Today

Anyway, from the very beginning she was sent into this whirl wind of insanity.  As this pastor says in his sermon, narcissist have their version of reality and truth.  They sometimes present it very convincingly.  Especially if they have been your dad for so many years, the narcissist sort of sucks you in to this other reality, and those close to them start to feel a little…actually a lot… crazy.  When she didn’t go along with his reality or tried to break from it, her dad was quick to end the relationship altogether. His world, his future, and his needs were what mattered, and anything that she might do to interfere with his happiness or any of this was not worth the risk.  Never mind, this is your daughter.  Again, this was mind-boggling to everyone around her, and mostly the only explanation was that her dad was “messed up”.

It was at this point that he began using manipulation to cause family separation, confusion, and contention. Narcissism is straight from the devil who wants no part of a peaceful, happy, loving family. This has continued to this day…10 years later.  Her family is constantly splintered, partially reconciled, splintered again cycled around his deception and  manipulation.  The narcissist views family members, even his own mother or children as objects.  There is a disconnect where he cannot feel what normal people feel about their family.  Understanding this lack of this ability of empathy has helped her so much.

Recently, her dad attempted to sue her over something that he knows is untrue as he was the one that emailed them copies of all the check receipts involved.  But honestly even though he sent her the physical evidence, if he has convinced himself that the lie is reality then I’m not sure if evidence will matter. I’ve learned from researching NPD that this amazing fact is true…

If a narcissist tells himself the sky is purple long enough, then a purple sky becomes a very concrete reality in his mind.

It’s not something I can speak very openly about since it is ongoing…But the heartbreaking part of his maliciousness was that even though they have not spoken, he knows she is very pregnant. Not only is this inconsiderate of her welfare but of the welfare of his grand-daughter also.

runholy-child of narcissistA normal dad would want the best for his daughter and his grandchildren.  A normal dad would put her needs above his own. I cannot imagine pursuing something like this with my daughter in the future no matter what she had done or even if she actually owed me anything. But when these thoughts come to her, that’s when she has to remind herself that he is not a normal dad. He is sick…broken, and it does not reflect her value.

Hope for the child of a narcissist

I’m sad that most of what I have read online says that adult children of narcissist have only the option for an estranged relationship or one so limited by boundaries that it can hardly be considered a relationship. Even when they were on speaking terms in the middle of estrangements, the conversations were very superficial (mostly pleasantries) which I’ve also read is VERY common in children’s adult relationships with NPD parents. But I believe there is hope for a couple of reasons.

  1.  Remember that you have had and will always have a dad in heaven that loves you, who wants the best for you, and holds such a powerful love for you that he would die for you.
  2. This relationship with God, Father can become very intimate as it may the only true father relationship you know. God has been there for her when her biological father was not.  God has held her and comforted her when her biological father caused her pain. God has been a very real father figure in her life, and she’s blessed by this.
  3. With God, all things are possible. Through prayer, I believe the narcissist’s heart can be softened and mind transformed. Not that these people can’t pose a significant challenge for the LORD, but I believe he is up for the challenge.  So there is hope that through prayer her father and their relationship CAN be restored.
  4. God is your defense and shelter. David was attacked by his father-in-law. It’s hard when someone who is supposed to love you and seek your best, seeks to harm you.  But God is protective of his children even against your own family. He will guard you and bring justice. Run to him in the midst of attack.

Number 5:  This may not seem so…but it IS hopeful.  I wanted to give you another sermon link that you may need for the loved one or parent struggling with narcissism.  This is not advice that I give, receive , or apply lightly. The sermon is In Defense of Imprecatory Prayers.  I listed this sermon in my favorite sermons list not long ago because it is on a topic that is not discussed a lot, but chances are most Christians have had a question about these strange prayers of David that seem like curses. This sermon answers a lot of those questions.

My advice is that if God leads you, consider praying the imprecatory psalms over the life of your narcissistic loved one. Many times the npd person will not seek help until they have reached the “end of himself”. The imprecatory prayers are a last measure to remove the protection of God from their lives.  It may be the most merciful prayer you can pray for your parent although I’ll tell you right now these psalms are heartbreaking and you will probably weep as the words come out of your mouth.

“My heart was ripped apart the night I prayed the imprecatory psalm over my dad, but I felt deeply that it might be his only chance at freedom and felt God’s clear leadership in taking this step.” -Rachelle

“One thing I’ve learned is that the narcissist is not free. He is God’s son and God wants him to be free. But instead the enemy keeps him in bondage of fear, resentment, bitterness, paranoia, hate, isolation, disappointment, feeling worthless, perfectionism, … Narcissism is a prison. The worst narcissist of all longs to pull others into his same type of prison. But understand that whoever he is, the narcissist is a very beloved child of God. God wants connection with this son and for this son to walk in the freedom that Christ paid for.  This is the greatest hope that we can cling to.” -Rachelle, on her dad

Resources on Narcissism, NPD, and the Narcissistic Parent Relationship

The long material below was very helpful in understanding why Rachelle’s dad did a lot of the things that he did.  It’s a lot, but if you have struggled with this and continue to struggle as an adult, I would recommend taking it all in. Also…

child of a narcissist -

Here is the source for the below content on narcissism.

The symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder include the following:

  • A grandiose sense of self-importance (may be shown as an exaggeration of abilities and talents, expectation that he or she will be seen as superior to all others).
  • Is obsessed with him- or herself.
  • Goals are almost always selfish and self-motivated.
  • Has troubles with healthy, normal relationships.
  • Becomes furious if criticized.
  • Has fantasies of unbound success, power, intelligence, love, and beauty.
  • Believes that he or she is unique and special, and therefore should only hang out with other special, high-status people.
  • Requires extreme admiration for everything.
  • Feels entitled – has unreasonable expectations of special treatment.
  • Takes advantage of others to further his or her own needs.
  • Has zero empathy – cannot (or will not) recognize the feelings of others.
  • May be envious of others or believe that others are envious of him or her.
  • Behaves arrogantly, haughtily.

Children of a Narcissist parent…When their children grow to become more independent, the narcissistic parent may feel jealous or envious of the child. Children of Narcissistic Parents must adhere to the agenda of the Narcissistic Parent for their lives to be stable. Asserting their feelings, their rights, or their thoughts can lead to much bigger problems.

Here are some terms that I found especially helpful in understanding many aspects of their relationship:

Triangulation: a tactic used by narcissistic parents to change the balance of power in a family system. For example, rather than allowing two siblings to work together, the Narcissistic Parent insists that he or she be the go-between. This controls the way the information flows, the way it is interpreted, and adds nuances to the conversation. It’s also a way to feed Narcissistic Supply.

Narcissistic Supply: is a term used to designate the manner in which narcissists require, feed on attention. The best sorts of attention are approval, adoration, and admiration, but other sources of attention – like fear – are acceptable to a Narcissist. Children, small children, of narcissists are used as an ongoing source of this attention.

Gaslighting: a way in which Narcissistic Parents (and other abusers) use lies – intentional or not – to make their child question his or her own reality. A child may end up feeling as though he or she is crazy. An example would be, insisting that the sky is actually green, until the child believes it. Gaslighting is one of the most insidious forms of emotional and psychological abuse.

Traits of Narcissistic Parents:

While these traits may not match all Narcissistic Parents, what follows are some common traits of Narcissistic Parents:

1) A Narcissistic Parent has difficulty understanding the emotions of empathy and how to create meaningful connections. As the personal needs of Narcissistic Parents dominate, these parents have little room for the needs of anyone else. It makes it almost impossible for these Narcissistic Parents to relate to the feelings and meet the physical and emotional needs of their children.

2) A Narcissistic Parent owns the successes of his or her children. In a Narcissistic Parents mind, he or she has been sacrificing everything for his or her child – the child must retaliate by performing at or above expectations. These childhood achievements are then owned by the Narcissistic Parent as their own, “he’s a great soccer player – it’s my genetics. I was always athletic, too.”

3) Narcissistic Parents must be in control. No matter what. A Narcissistic Parent controls his or her children by dictating how these children should feel, should act, and the decisions to be made. This can lead to adult children of Narcissistic Parents being unsure of what they, themselves, like and want out of life. These Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents never learn to be autonomous and make his or her own decisions.

4) Narcissistic Parents emotionally blackmail their children. A Narcissistic Parent often is indulgent, kind, and sweet if a child is behaving in the way their Narcissistic Parent wants. However, the moment a child is disobedient, a Narcissistic Parent becomes enraged and cruel. This show of “I love you, go away,” creates insecurity and dependency among children of Narcissistic Parents.

She had issues with her dad attempting to control her (and others in his family) in these ways:

 Guilt-Driven Control: “I’ve given my life for you. I’ve sacrificed it all.” This method of control creates a feeling of obligation in children; that they “owe” their Narcissistic Parents and must behave in a certain way to make their parents happy.

Love Withdrawal Control:You’re worthy of my love ONLY BECAUSE you behave the way I expect you to.” So long as their children are behaving properly, a Narcissistic Parent will be loving. That love disappears the moment a child doesn’t meet expectations.

There are other ways explained here.

How Do Narcissistic Parents Abuse Their Children?

Narcissistic Parents have many subtle – and some not-so-subtle- ways in which they abuse their children. I have struggled with many of these (if not all) with my dad.

  • Compulsively lying to children
  • Ignores and/or overwhelms the children
  • Neglects needs of the child
  • Makes child feel as though he/she does not matter
  • Puts parental needs far above those of the children
  • Distorts the concept of “love”
  • Manipulation for pleasure
  • Says one thing one day, something else the next
  • Untrustworthy
  • Uses the child’s vulnerabilities to exploit the child
  • Subtly and not-subtly insults children
  • Ignores personal boundaries
  • Treats others as objects, not people
  • Makes child feel as though he or she is insane

child of a narcissist - runholyWhat Happens To The Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents?

Growing up with all emotional needs unmet, becoming a “mini-adult,” being the product of so much emotional abuse takes a tremendous toll on a child of a Narcissistic Parent. If the Narcissistic Parent does not stop the abuse or the child does not receive adequate help, one of two scenarios happens to adult children of Narcissistic Parents.

1) The child grows to have narcissistic traits, and becomes a Narcissistic Parent to his/her own children. This perpetuates the Narcissistic Cycle of Abuse.

2) The child becomes a “covert” or “inverted” narcissist who remains codependent and may actually seek out abusive relationships with other narcissists.

I’m The Adult Child of A Narcissistic Parent…What Now?

Healing from such a traumatic childhood is absolutely a daunting task. Having your own emotional needs unmet for so long may make the notion of recovery seemingly impossible. It’s not. Here are some guidelines for recovery for Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents.

This article gives some great advice on the “what now” issue from a psychological standpoint.  I would definitely recommend reading these, but put them back in the framework of a godly Christian perspective.

Do I Stay In Contact With My Narcissistic Parent?

Separating yourself from the sort of codependency that’s common from Narcissistic Parents may seem daunting. Sure, they were emotionally (or physically)(or both) abusive, but your Narcissistic Parent is STILL your parent.

As an Adult Child of a Narcissistic Parent, you have two options:

1) Total Estrangement – no contact, nothing, with your Narcissistic Parent.

2) Measured Contact – contact, but limited interaction with Narcissistic Parent.

If you choose to keep measured contact with your Narcissistic Parent, be very sure to follow some strict, clear guidelines:

  • Create very clear boundaries. Don’t reward your parent for crossing them. Be clear, but firm. If they show up unannounced, explain nicely that you are too busy to visit with them.
  • Shield your own children from their Narcissistic Grandparent. They do not need to be exposed to their toxic behaviors.
  • Rather than explain that you do not want to hear their advice, echo and mirror whatever the Narcissistic Parent says. Do whatever you’d planned to do anyway.
  • Go through a third party as your Narcissistic Parent ages – do not allow them to rely upon you and you alone as they need care.
  • Provide information on a “need to know” basis only. Just because your Narcissistic Parent tells you everything doesn’t mean you must reciprocate.

More Resources on Narcissism



Quitting Cookies. Two Week Plant Based Challenge, During Pregnancy

Plant based lunch -

Quitting Cookies. Two Week Plant Based Challenge, During Pregnancy

“Let’s eat clean (he means plant based when he says this) until Thanksgiving!” Those are the words my husband dared to speak to my pregnancy-fatigued soul, amidst moving boxes and off-schedule toddlers.  I looked it up today “how many days until thanksgiving, Google?”  16 days.  Basically two weeks.  So, I decided to blog about our 2 week plant based challenge.

Now, I accepted this challenge because number one- I love my husband! But also,  I have gone crazy this pregnancy. Candy, cookies, sweets have been a staple in my diet.  Not only has it made me feel crappy and low-energy, but I know it’s not good for little unborn baby Haven. Plant-based makes me feel energetic and great! So, I’m hoping this two week plant based challenge will set me back on course to have a more plant based, nutritious diet.  This will also make it easier when I switch back to normal eating after pregnancy cravings have dwindled.  I’m just focusing on keeping the diet exactly that – plant BASED, meaning the foundation of every meal is plants.  I’m not stressing over keeping it vegan.  And I’m not stressing over portions.  If I want a whole head of kale, well I’ll just eat until I am satisfied and filled.

Day One of the Two Week Plant Based Challenge

This is day one. So tired. Moving all weekend was rough. And I’m determined to complete all my Piyo workouts on my 8-week schedule so that means 2 workouts today. I see the schedule taped to the wall. Ugh. But that’s later. Time to get the girls ready for daycare/work. I struggle with Sofia who is about as excited about getting up as her mama.

Kate actually slept through the night, and I’m so glad we didn’t have a repeat of the night before where I ended up sleeping with her after two hours of crying/consoling/crying/…. Shew that girl is stubborn!   Paul changes her diaper & I put her clothes on. Then Paul & Fia head to the city and Kate and I head to the office.

But not before I make a vegan chocolate shakeology shake. I throw a cup of strong coffee into the blender so that maybe that will help. It doesn’t really. I feel like the walking dead for a good hour and a half. Grandpa takes baby Kate with him to the bank, and I use a small reserved energy to accomplish office tasks.

On on my way home from lunch around 1 I swing by the store. The checker comments on how healthy my diet is. LOL. If only she knew I had chicken wings, riesens & twizzlersfor dinner last night.

When I got home,my mom was walking with Kate to the playground. Guess grandpa & grandmother had switched. It’s sort of nice having all your family so close. (I basically live in a commune now. Lol.) but it’s AMAZING when you’re 31 weeks pregnant & been moving for the last week.

I whipped per up this lunch. Eggplant parm patties and lemon tahini kale. The patties are adopted from this recipe, but I threw on a handful of shredded Parmesan before forming it into balls. Also I cook it on the stove as patties rather than oven meatballs.) Then I continuously flatten & flip in the sauté pan because I like it that way!

While led that was cooking, I poured this lemon tahini dressing (I use grated Parmesan instead of nutritional yeast; but I’ve had it both ways, and both are good) over a bowl of chopped kale. I mixed it in and then threw all of it in a sauté pan and cook covered, adding water as needed. I take it out when it’s soft but still bright green. the kale is sort of adapted from this recipe.

I really want a cookie when I finish lunch. I am terrible when it comes to sweets during pregnancy. I have a handful of frozen grapes instead, and start my Piyo workout.  Today I did Strength Intervals and half of Core.  The core workout is so great for pregnant ladies.  The majority of the moves are in prone/plank or standing.  There’s only about 5 minutes of it that I can’t do because it’s on my back.  And it provides so much strength work to keep those abdominals tight and strong (good for bouncing back to a somewhat flat tummy postpartum and for PUSHING during labor.  Here’s a few other reasons why PiYo is awesome for pregnancy.  Seriously love the way this workout makes me feel!

Pregnancy PiYo -
We had a salad for dinner with onions, tomato, cheese, carrots, romaine, avocado, and a little too much dressing.  At night when I am craving something sweet, I have some shakeology (any chocolate protein mix would probably work) protein brownie mix that I made kind of like these only I never shaped them into brownies, just ate it like batter.  I went to bed satisfied and feeling very accomplished that I went 24 hours without a cookie.

Hi, my name’s Lauren and it’s been 1 day since my last cookie.   

Here is my meal plan for this first week.  I may not stick to it exactly, but it gives me a foundation to work with.  I find it makes meal planning and “clean eating” easier when I use repeat meals. When the meals are creative, colorful, flavorful, diverse, etc… it doesn’t feel monotonous to me at all.

RunHoly Plant-based Meal Plan week 1


If for some reason, you want to download this meal plan, you can do that by clicking here: plant based meal plan – week 1






10 Steps to Getting Started Intermittent Fasting

10 steps getting started intermittent fasting,

10 Steps to Getting Started Intermittent Fasting


Getting started intermittent fasting can seem intimidating. After each of my pregnancies, I have used IF to lose the baby weight and regain control over my crazy eating, but I find myself a little afraid gearing up to get ready to start intermittent fasting again after this pregnancy. Even though I know what I’m in for, the intimidation factor is still there. I don’t know if I’m writing this post more for you (the reader who wants to know about getting started intermittent fasting) or me (the girl who needs to be reminded as I get ready to launch back into this life style).

And it is a lifestyle.  You kind of need to know that going in. In any culture, eating is a big part of life, and a lot of our life sort of circles around it. The type of intermittent fasting needs to fit the life that you have which brings me to my first step… Here we go…

  1.  Pick your Intermittent Fasting Protocol based on life, personality, and goals: I have a very full list in my free intermittent fasting planner here.  Choose the one that fits your life.  If you are a morning person and like to workout and then need to eat right away or if you work out mid-morning and like to eat before, then you may need an eating window that starts earlier in the day like 10am-4pm or something like that depending on the protocol.

It may be easier for you to skip an entire 24 or 48 hours, get it out of the way, and then not have the pressure of fasting weighing on you.  So, you would want to choose something like Eat Stop Eat.  There are also protocols that allow you to have 500 calorie meals on fast days if you just cannot imagine going an entire 24 hours without food. And also “warrior diet” will allow you to snack on specific foods throughout the day.

Also, what are your goals with fasting? Most people it is to lose weight.  But for some it may be to simplify your life – i.e. not be meal prepping, cooking, eating 6 or more times a day. For some it may be for building muscle.  Others for the life quality, longevity, anti-aging. Going in, you need to know what your goals are. For example, one 24 hour fast a week may not help with losing weight, but it will help with weight maintenance and longevity, anti-aging, blood sugar regulation, memory, and body cleansing. And 16-8 has been shown to benefit those looking to gain muscle.  So, you will want to choose your protocol based on your goals.

My motivation is a combination of goals, but mostly weight loss.  I enjoy the feeling that fasting daily gives me so I choose an intermittent fasting protocol that has a limited eating window each day.  I enjoy also the simplification of lifestyle that eating only once or twice allows.  I also enjoy eating large, satisfying meals.

Whatever your goals, I would write them down. Write down your goal weight if it’s weight loss.  Measurements of areas that you want to grow in muscle size.  If you want to feel more energetic and creative.  Those types of things.  Write them down so that you can look at these goals and remember Why the heck you are hungray!

1b.     Adjust your eating. This isn’t exactly necessary, but I have to make this recommendation.  One of the great benefits to intermittent fasting is that you can include some “crap” in your diet and still lose weight because you are eating less calories.  BUT…it would be a good step to begin fasting to start cleaning up your diet so that before you get started intermittent fasting you are informed about healthy eating and already making healthy choices.

It would be easy if you did not make eating healthy (not high in processed, sugary, fast/restaurant foods) a priority to have a more difficult time losing weight and reaping the benefits of intermittent fasting.  You would probably have to limit your eating window to something very small and your body would be slowed/working overtime in the process of detoxification during fasting times.  Unhealthy eating has an affect your energy, blood sugar, mood, hormones and all of body systems whether you are intermittent fasting or not.

Now, I do believe that as you begin intermittent fasting your cravings for unhealthy foods will diminish. I  also believe that if you were to continue eating unhealthy foods, intermittent fasting would be a tool to help your body against the ill affects of such food choice consequences. That said, working towards cleaning up your diet prior to getting started intermittent fasting would be my suggestion (or at least have it as a goal in your mind as you begin IF).

2.     Research. Either before or after you pick a IF protocol, research the crap out of it.  See what benefits others have received from following that protocol.  Read about what intermittent fasting does to your body, mind, life, etc. If you go into the fasting way, equipped with the knowledge of what that hunger period is doing for you, it’s easier to persevere during the time that it is difficult.

I have a list of free resources on intermittent fasting mainly for women here, but I also recommend these books:

  • The 8-Hour Diet: Very easy to read and has a helpful list of ways to distract yourself during the fasting window.
  • The Fast Diet: also called 5:2 involves eating 500 calories on fasting days. Also includes a lot of 500-calorie recipes.
  • The Every Other Day Diet: The author gives a lot of studies (human studies, which is kind of rare) that will help fuel your faith in IF. Easy to read also.
  • Eat Stop Eat: Kindle version. I have admittedly not read this book because I’m not very interested in going 24 hours or more without eating.  But Brad Pilon is a pioneer in the IF world.

Basically, once you pick your protocol or narrow it down to a couple, you can find a book or resource on it.  Ori Hofmekler (warrior diet) and Martin Berkhan (leangains) are two of the other IF pioneers that have good info on their blogs.  A great website to find new research on intermittent fasting is Dr. Mercola’s site. I like to read the articles on his site like this one just to remind myself how awesome IF is and why I should keep at it.  Also, the fasting twins on youtube are hilarious although a little vulgar. They answer a ton of questions that you may have getting started or while you are intermittent fasting.

Knowledge serves as fuel and motivation so it’s good to arm yourself going in.

3.     Get tools if you need them. Even if you don’t think you will need them, it might be good to grab some of the free ones going in because what is there to lose? Intermittent fasting is all about finding what works for you basically through trial and error and adjustments until you find your unique flow.

There are many apps that will help you track your eating windows and have other helpful information and tracking areas.  Here’s some of them:

Or if you are a pen and paper kind of person like I am here is the link again to my free, printable intermittent fasting fitness planner. It has specific areas for goals, measurements, meal planning, and daily eating windows.  Or here is a diet and fitness planner not specifically for intermittent fasting, but would work.

Maybe other tools would be supplements like bulletproof coffee (basically good coffee, GHEE, and coconut or MCT oil) or BCAA’s.  These supplements have both been shown to help with hunger and the lack of energy that you may feel at the start while you are first adjusting to intermittent fasting. There are pre-workout and recovery supplements that have BCAA’s in them. I’ll have to do another post on these two supplements BPC and BCAA’s. Message me if you need more info.

4.     Start the transition.  Unless you are an all or nothing kind of person and that’s just what works for you, then I suggest easing into intermittent fasting. Meaning…start delaying your first (breakfast) meal and start cutting back how late you are eating.

Intermittent fasting is just as much or more of a mind-thing. By delaying just an hour or whatever you can handle and stopping at an earlier time at night, you are beginning the training of your mind.  I believe this works like a muscle: start with a lighter weight (a shorter fasting amount of time) until that is easy for you, and then move to the next “weight” by lengthening your fast time.

And this begins the process of intermittent fasting. Depending on your goals, you continue modifying your eating/fasting window length until you are seeing the results that you want and it fits the life style that you want.  After I have a baby, I usually have to adjust my eating window to between four and six hours to lose weight at the rate that I like which is about 3-4 lbs a week.  Also, the slow increase in fasting time gives my body time to adjust to fasting while breastfeeding.

5.      Find support. I have a group on facebook specifically for women who practice intermittent fasting. There are also other groups on facebook I’m sure.  Also, there are forums like on where you can find other intermittent fasting folks. Here are some other places to connect:

It’s also a good idea to tell those close to you what you are doing.  You may be a little grumpy starting out and will need the patience and understanding of those you love.  Explain what IF is all about to them and why you are doing it (another reason #1 and #2 are important).  They may even want to try it with you…if so, awesome! But if not, maybe they could at least not invite you to lunch, bring over donuts, or snack on delicious things at night right next to you.

6.      Consider toning down your workouts and adjusting times.  The first couple weeks are the most difficult when you begin intermittent fasting.  While I don’t recommend stopping working out as it is very effective as a distraction tool against hunger, consider taking a walk instead of a run or HIIT workout (<– LOVE this one btw).  Or maybe lower your weights/reps at the gym.

Your energy will come back after the beginning transition period, and you will probably find you are able to work out as hard or harder than you did before in a fasted state. But at the beginning, you will feel like your limbs are weak and lack the motivation, energy, and strength to do as much.  Also, it will increase your hunger about an hour after a hard workout, so you don’t want to sabotage yourself if your eating window doesn’t begin until many hours after your workout time.

You may also want adjust your workout time so that it is later, earlier, whatever. Some may need to move their workouts to within their fasting windows (middle or end) so that it will distract them from hunger, get those satiating endorphins flowing, alter blood flow away from the digestive organs, and get the dopamine release that you would usually get from food. This gets some through the hardest points.

Some may need to move the workout time to the end of the fasting window so that they don’t have to fight against the hunger beast that hits you an hour or so after.  The time you workout will end up being unique to your needs, personality, and lifestyle.  Find what works for you within the intermittent fasting protocol that you choose and practice.

7.     Use delayed gratification. When my daughter ask me for a sucker or maybe she wants to go to the playground, I often use delayed gratification. Even for a 3-year old this works! “Not now, but probably later” will ease the pain of her desire.  This is a great tool of yours for intermittent fasting.

During your hungry times, you will have co-workers bring in donuts. You will see the frosted mini-wheats and milk that your toddler is eating, and your mouth will just drool.  Your mind will begin to try to convince you to give in.  USE delayed gratification.  Tell your mind, “Yes you can have that…donut…bowl of cereal…just not now.  You can have it later if you want it.  Sometimes I even write down items that I denied myself that  I’m going to have during my eating window.  This is also a good tool to get it off your mind and prevent obsession.

8.     Protein and complex carbs first. With #7 said, I have to give you probably my best advice, eat your protein and complex carbs first.  You may have donuts, chips, bagels, and candy on “your list”, but if you eat those first it can cause some problems. You will overeat those items meaning higher caloric intake, less nutrients, and probably a tummy ache.

It’s better to have a meal planned that includes a protein and some kind of complex carb. Chances are you will be craving these things anyway by the time you reach your eating window.  But eat your fill of grilled chicken, or lentils, or beef and broccoli or kale chips or spinach (man! I’m really hungry) then move on to things like baked sweet potato, potato, corn, rice, whatever starchy carb…Then AT THAT POINT, have something or everything you can handle on your DG list.

Hunger will drive you to eat a very satisfying amount of the first foods where the delayed gratification junk will not have a significant effect on the health of your meal. So the order you need to eat is as follows:

meal order - intermittent fasting - runholy

9. Before photo. My last tip getting started is to take a BEFORE photo. I have some very impressive intermittent fasting before and afters.  This helps me to get started after each pregnancy is done and it’s time to begin my postpartum weight loss because I can see the results I’ve gotten before with IF.intermittent fasting before after

Also, with IF you tend to gain muscle pretty easily due to its effects on growth hormone.  Therefore, the shape or tone of your body changes even faster than the scale does.  Progress pictures will help you to stay focused and driven while intermittent fasting.

10. Keep in mind. I have to tell those of you reading this who are just getting started intermittent fasting or just starting to consider giving it a try that the first part its the hardest. Please as you begin, keep in mind the first 10 days to 2 weeks are the most challenging.  If you can make it through this time, it gets much easier.

I find that after this period, I actually don’t experience hunger the way that I did before and my cravings and appetite (the amount I can eat) drastically change and decrease.  I have heard the same testimony given time after time in my intermittent fasting group on facebook. Some women only have a few days where there body and mind adjusts, and it just feels natural. Seriously, you will reach a point where it just feels like you’ve always eaten this way.

Getting Started Intermittent Fasting with Confidence

Maybe you are just curious about this whole intermittent fasting diet thing you’ve been hearing about.  Maybe you’ve looked into it and you’re not sure how to go about getting started intermittent fasting.  Or maybe you’ve tried to start and failed.  Whatever the reason, I hope this post will help you feel more confident getting started intermittent fasting.  Feel free to comment with questions below and also post in my intermittent fasting group.  Any questions you have, I will be happy to answer if I can or send you to the right place if I can’t.  I can also use your questions to fuel post like this one.

Intermittent fasting has been a great choice for me and I’m so glad I found it.  I think it can improve the quality of life for so many.  That’s why I enjoy helping.  I hope that you are able to make IF work for you and are not intimidated about getting started.  It’s totally worth it, and the benefits are crazy awesome…so much more than weight loss.


Peace and wholeness,





Becoming Authentic – A Sermon Post

becoming authentic

Becoming Authentic – A Sermon Post

becoming authentic RunHoly.comI’m listening to a series by Mike Connell on Fig Leaves and Other Coverings.  There is such a call on the church to live authentically.  And Pastor Mike Connell is right: the main reason that we need to pursue becoming authentic is so that we can bring healing to this broken world and broken people around us.  There are people really hurting, and we can’t minister to them until we are whole ourselves.  He began this sermon with the story of the Good Samaritan and the call to go to the broken and heal their “trauma” through the anointing that Christ has in us & through us. But we have to apply this healing to our own hearts, and that means getting real with OURSELVES & becoming authentic.

The main complaint about the church (and Connell talks about this) is that we are fake. We walk into church with our smiles and outfits, terribly afraid that someone will find out what is really going on.  Social media has made it even worse I believe. Everyone presents the best version of their lives on Facebook, but usually hide the mess, myself included. When are we going to get real-with each other…with the world? What will it take?

I highly recommend this pastor not just because of his cute accent (he’s in Australia or New Zealand I believe), but because he presents profound truth in practical ways. He speaks to the root of issues in our lives using scripture and the Holy Spirit.  Below are some of the notes from his sermon. The link to the full series and full sermon are at the bottom of this post.

Becoming Authentic

The reality is that many people, their walk daily is actually inconsistent with what we believe and so God wants us to grow and mature, to grow up. Growing up isn’t easy. It’s got some challenges with it and I want to share with you today some keys to help you grow. In Genesis 3:7 we saw that Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together, made themselves coverings. In Verse 10 he said I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself, so Adam and Eve as a consequence of the fall hid themselves from painful reality. To actually come into the presence of God meant to face what was really happening in their life and Adam said I was afraid. That means he had deep feelings, bad feelings, bad vibes and he said because I was naked and so I ran away and hid.


We saw how Adam and Eve as a consequence of the fall concealed their identity, covered themselves up and then hid and we see here a pattern; their behaviour of hiding came about as a result of them feeling fear and believing God was going to punish them. So when we look at people’s lives you see the outward part which is like the tip of an iceberg on the surface, but below that outward part is where people really live. So if I’m going to grow as a believer and grow in my relationship with God and ability to represent Him, I’ve got to change on the inside. I’ve got to explore my inner world and discover what is in there. Now you don’t have to become introspective, looking into yourself all the time, but the Holy Spirit is given and He dwells inside you and His job is to bring to your awareness where you need to grow up.


[The Bible said Jesus said 00.06.01] in John 14, I won’t leave you orphans. I won’t leave you without a Father, so if you’ve been without a father in your life or been under poor – perhaps your parents weren’t able to function, your father wasn’t able to function as God intended to, nevertheless the spirit that God puts into you, the Holy Spirit of God is a fathering spirit. It is to speak into your heart direction, correction and to bring about maturity so you discover who you are and how to relate and live your life and how to fulfil a purpose. That’s the role of a father, one of the major roles of a father – so Jesus said I will pour My spirit into you and the Holy Spirit I put inside you will be a witness you belong – that God is your Father, but also that spirit, the Holy Spirit in you is to bring you to face realities, to face truth. If we keep covered up and hiding our life and don’t want to go there or pretend we’ve moved on when we haven’t moved on, or minimise what’s happening in our life, we miss out on the opportunity to grow and fulfil what God called us to do.


It’s very difficult to enter into anyone else’s life very deeply if you’re very shallow yourself. Can God use you? Of course He can. You can encourage someone, you can show an act of kindness to someone, you could visit them, you could ring them, you can connect with them, give to them. You can do all sorts of things, but there’s a dimension of reaching into lives to really authentically help people which won’t be yours unless you’re willing to grow. So God wants us on a journey. Now how does God get us to grow when many times we don’t want to face the areas which are damaged, nor address them? We want to just to push them under and get going. Well God’s got a great strategy and that strategy’s called pain. Pain – you notice if you hit your thumb and you’re in pain the one thing you notice is your thumb. You notice nothing else. Your whole world is filled with THUMB! Isn’t that right?


So whatever you’re in pain about will always get your attention, so God has got a strategy. If you don’t want to face changes in your life and He’s committed to changes in your life, how’s He going to get your attention? Well a whole heap of ways, but one of them is pain. Now does that mean God causes pain? No, no, no, no. No, we do stupid things that cause ourselves pain, but God allows us to go through a journey where we have to stop and have a look at what’s happening and if you can develop a lifestyle where you develop your inner world and begin to mature and grow in your inner world, your outer world will change dramatically. Most people I talk to are wanting God, they’re praying God change this; God change my husband, God change my work, God – now what they’re doing is they’re trying to get exterior changes and not looking how should I be changing on the inside so I can become the kind of person that’s needed, see? Change on the inside, your exteriors will change quite quickly.


Link to Becoming Authentic by Mike Connell sermon, full notes and audio

becoming authentic Mike Connell

Full series here.

Praying Powerful Prayers – FREE Printable Prayer Guide

Praying Powerful Prayers – FREE Printable Prayer Guide on Philippians 1 Apostolic Prayer

Last week I posted about How to Pray Powerful Prayers. This post was specifically on praying the apostolic prayer of Paul in Ephesians 1.   I also listed why using the apostolic prayer language in our prayers is so important and powerful.  Today I wanted to continue this prayer series on praying powerful prayers looking at my favorite biblical apostolic prayer: Philipians 1:9-11

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1 – Praying Powerful Prayers – Free Printable Prayer Guide focusing on Philippians 1

Philippians 1-Free Printable Prayer Guide


That Love May Abound Still More and More

I find this is beautiful language to pray over my marriage and relationships…or the relationships of my daughters.  That love would abound, increase and spill over. That as I grow in the knowledge of my husband, friend, etc my love would grow more and more with every day and year that passes.  It pairs wonderfully with the verse asking the Holy Spirit to shed His love abroad in our hearts.  Because it’s from the overflow and source of His love that we love..

That You May Approve the Things That Are Excellent

This is great to pray when you or someone you know has a difficult decision.  Or maybe they are just going through a difficult season making choices that do not line up with the wisdom of God. It’s also just generally a good prayer to pray over yourself, your family, your children. This way by God’s grace and wisdom, the choices that we or they make will line up with God’s perfect will for their lives; so that we will be blessed making choices that keep us on the narrow way and that are loving.

Here are the study notes that focus on the different parts of these verses. I got them here.

Prayer for God’s love to abound in our heart resulting in discernment and righteousness.

And this I pray, that YOUR LOVE MAY ABOUND still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may APPROVE THE THINGS THAT ARE EXCELLENT, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being FILLED WITH THE FRUITS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Phil. 1:9-11).

  • That your love may abound still more and more – ever-increasing love in our hearts
    • The path of the just shines ever brighter unto perfection
    • But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. (Proverbs 4:18)
    • Believers abounding in excellence in every gift
    • But as you abound in everything– in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us– see that you abound in this grace also. (2 Corinthians 8:7)
    • Abounding more and more unto pleasing God
    • Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; (1 Thessalonians 4:1)
    • Thanksgiving for ever-increasing faith and love
    • We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
    • Other scriptures – Job 17:9; Matthew 13:31-33; Philippians 3:15-16; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10; Philemon 6; 1 Peter 1:22
  • In knowledge – experiential knowledge of the person of Christ
    • The need for maturity in understanding
    • Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature. (1 Corinthians 14:20)
    • Be wise, understanding the Lord’s will
    • Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:17)
    • Filled with the knowledge of His will
    • For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (Colossians 1:9)
    • New man renewed in knowledge according to Christ’s image
    • and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, (Colossians 3:10)
    • Other scriptures – 2 Peter 1:5-6; 2 Peter 3:18
  • And all discernment –
  • The King prays for an understanding heart to govern the people
  • “Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” (1 Kings 3:9)
  • The spiritual man discerns unsavory things
  • Is there injustice on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern the unsavory? (Job 6:30)
  • The ear discerns words as the mouth tastes food
  • For the ear tests words as the palate tastes food. (Job 34:3)
  • Using discernment to test and keep the good
  • Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
    • Other scriptures – 2 Samuel 14:17; 1 Kings 3:11; Isaiah 7:15; Romans 14:1; 1 Corinthians 2:14-15;
  • That you may approve the things that are excellent – examining and agreeing with the excellence of the Lord
    • This comes from the mind being renewed in God’s Word
    • And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)
    • Walk in light, and discover what pleases the Lord
    • For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8-10)
    • Training the senses through use to discern excellence
    • But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14)
    • Test every spirit to approve excellence
    • Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
    • Other scriptures – 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Revelation 2:2
  • That you may be sincere – tested as genuine by the light of the sun
    • Fear the Lord, and serve Him with sincerity and truth
    • “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! (Joshua 24:14)
    • Nathanael seen by Jesus Christ as being without deceit
    • Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” (John 1:47)
    • Speak sincerely in the sight of God in Christ
    • For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:17)
    • Hearts established blameless in holiness
    • so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:13)
    • Other scriptures – Acts 24:16; 2 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 8:8; Ephesians 4:15; Philippians 1:16
  • And without offense – not stumbling over anything God chooses to do or permit
    • Jesus is a sanctuary to His own, but an offense to unbelievers
    • He will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. (Isaiah 8:14)
    • Not to be offended at the mystery of God’s ways
    • “And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” (Matthew 11:6)
    • Knowledge of Jesus keeps us from offense at His ways
    • Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” (Romans 9:32-33) orinthians 1:23 – The stumbling block of the cross of Christ
    • Other scriptures – Matthew 26:33; 1 Corinthians 1:18; Galatians 5:11; 1 Peter 2:8
  • Till the day of Christ – the culmination of natural history at the appearing of Jesus
    • Blameless in the day of Christ
    • who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:8)
    • Work of Holy Spirit in our lives completed unto that day
    • being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; (Philippians 1:6)
    • Rejoicing in the day of Christ that our race was not in vain
    • holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (Philippians 2:16)
    • The sudden appearing of the day of the Lord
    • But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. (2 Peter 3:10)
  • Being filled with the fruits of righteousness – the effects of the Holy Spirit working in our hearts
    • Planted in the Lord’s House, we bear fruit into old age
    • Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, (Psalm 92:13-14)
    • The pruning work of the Holy Spirit to increase fruitbearing
    • “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (John 15:2)
    • Appointed by the Lord to bear fruit that remains
    • “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. (John 15:16)
    • Fruit of righteousness comes to those who embrace discipline
    • Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11)
    • Other scriptures – Psalm 1:3; Isaiah 5:2; Luke 13:6-9; John 15:8; Romans 6:22; Romans 15:28; 2 Corinthians 9:10; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:9; Philippians 4:17; Colossians 1:6,10; James 3:17-18
  • Which are by Christ Jesus – the work of His hands upon our lives
    • His work in us that He may be glorified
    • Also your people shall all be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. (Isaiah 60:21)
    • The planting of the Lord for His own glory
    • To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3)
    • Fruit borne through abiding in Christ
    • “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
    • We are His workmanship, created for good works
    • For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
    • Other scriptures – Isaiah 61:11; Hebrews 13:15-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11
  • To the glory and praise of God – that He is honored and beautified by our lives
    • Our fruitbearing to the Father’s glory
      • “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. (John 15:8)
    • Our purpose is to be to the praise of His glory
    • that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:12)
    • Our purchase and redemption results in praise to His glory
    • who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:14)
    • Our lives glorify God in the time of visitation
    • having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:12)


Resources That I Want to Share with Friends:

This book by Tim Keller looks awesome. Since it’s on prayer, I thought I would share with you in this post.  He’s one of my favorite pastors to listen to, very anointed for being so nerdy.  Check out some of my Favorite Sermons post if you would rather listen to some of his material.

This is a beautiful soaking hour that I found on YouTube. It would be great to sit quietly and just let it play over your soul.  I needed so much of what she sang. I pray it blesses you.

Fit, Fat, Fun Pregnancy – What’s Your Pregnancy Style?

Fit, Fat, Fun Pregnancy – What’s Your Pregnancy Style?

2 approaches to pregnancy weight gain

About 8 months pregnant

Fit, Fat, Fun Pregnancy – What’s Your Pregnancy Style?  As I near the end of this, most likely my last, pregnancy.  I’m just reflecting on all three pregnancies and the 2 approaches to pregnancy as far as fitness, nutrition, and mind set. I’m wondering if this reflection might help someone in the future.

So I’m currently in the basketball belly phase of pregnancy. You know that one right after “beer gut?” and right before “Oh My God!”. Ya I’m beyond that phase where people tell me I “don’t even look pregnant” (subscript… just look fat). I am definitely pregnant-looking with the belly right out in front on display. And right before the next phase where I madly rush into the shower, avoiding all brief glimpses of my reflection and the alien level of stretching that my body does right between the 9th and 10th month of pregnancy. No matter how many times I’m pregnant, it still freaks me out.

Fitness During 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pregnancy
First “fit” pregnancy I ran several miles a day including a half marathon at about 6 months pregnant. I switched over to walking towards the end but still maintained a couple miles a day. I definitely took the first approach to pregnancy during this time.

The “fat, fun” second pregnancy, I was doing strength and HIIT training at the beginning. When I couldn’t do that anymore because of sports hernia (probably due to all the running my 1st pregnancy), I half-way committed to something called Battle Rope Training which is actually awesome during pregnancy.

Third “fat, fun” Pregnancy: This pregnancy is a little (actually a lot) different. Pretty much the entire second trimester, I was unable to even walk more than 1/4th mile without terrible pain. I started to get really depressed after a couple months and started looking for solutions. By wearing 2 different support belts, I was able to take my girls for short (2 mile max) walks. And I found PiYo! I made a calendar for 8 weeks and decided I would commit, no matter what, to doing these fairly easy workouts. I’ve kept that commitment for 2 weeks now. It just feels so great to be back sort of active and have that sense of “me” and accomplishment, however small.

Nutrition During 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pregnancy
First pregnancy, I remember that I wouldn’t eat vanilla wafers because I was afraid of what processed foods would do to the baby. That’s funny now. After the brief nausea period, I returned to eating salads and fruits. I ate a ton of frozen yogurt  and fruit when I craved sweets or ice cream.

Second pregnancy, I had a longer period of nausea. Honestly, I have no idea what I ate. I had a very young toddler…so think Cheez-Its. I think I tried to make healthy choices, but I pretty much just gave into the junk and sweets. Third pregnancy. Wow. Once the nausea subsided it was like a candy bar massacre by my bed every night until my body gained 10 lbs in a month. Then the junk cravings ebbed. Now, one of my other commitments is to have a shake like shakeology at least once a day. And to eat one plant-based vegan meal. The rest of the day is filled with junk. And I mean JUNK!

2 Approaches to Pregnancy Weight Gain and Recovery

First approach Fit Women take to Pregnancy: Fight your instincts. Stay Fit at all costs (to your sanity).

I think there are 2 approaches fit women take to pregnancy weight gain and recovery.  And I’ve taken both of them. I’ve seen the differences and there are positives and negatives to both. There is the approach where you delve deep into your self-control throughout the entire 10 months.  You tell yourself no to nearly every craving and appetite surge.  You force yourself to go for a run when you feel like napping.  The result is that at your 6 week postpartum appointment, you will receive looks of utter contempt when you walk in with your flat tummy and pre-pregnancy jeans.  I’ve been that girl. It’s sort of nice, but I don’t know if it’s worth fighting against God and nature for 9 months.  I remember a text that my brother sent me between my salads and 7 mile walks/runs. Sometimes guys say the simplest things that are so profound!

“Lauren, you realize you’re SUPPOSED to get FAT, right?”

2 approaches to pregnancySure I was smiling telling everyone about the joys of a fit pregnancy. But…I was fighting it hard. And it actually felt very unnatural. And actually… it is.  In a healthy pregnancy, you are supposed to gain 8-10 lbs just in body fat probably so that when you breastfeed, your body has something to pull from.  Otherwise you end up looking like a concentration camp victim in those months after pregnancy. I believe God made the system.  When you study all the hormonal changes that happen so that you will have cravings and overeat, you will see that He put some thought and work into the pregnancy process of making you get faaaaaat.  It’s actually a beautiful thing.  I see women with their cherub like plumb faces and full hips and smile thinking about how God feels about this season of our lives. He is happy about the sacrifice where women are willing to give up who they are for a season and embrace the beauty of baby making.

The negative…

  • You have to hold on so tight to control.  Putting so much energy into fighting your instincts. It can be frustrating and feel in ways like self-control bondage. You will probably be in a bad mood…often. Because you are hungry, in a constant state of self-denial.
  • You may lose a tooth or two.  I actually lost a tooth right after this pregnancy.  There was no saving it. The baby had taken what it needed.  No matter how healthy and nutritious you eat, not enough calories is not enough calories and it can do bad things to your body.  Along those same lines… Your face and skin will age.  Ever seen Hollywood celebs or those moms that stay skinny during/right after pregnancy and how they look about 10 years older?  This happened to me also. It took many months (and chemical months) for me to get some elasticity back and not look “aged”.
  • You will have haters.  See my next point.
  • You will be full of yourself. I remember taking this pic and putting it up on social media of me holding my weeks-old newborn, of course in a side-profile pose, so that everyone on social media could see that I looked like I hadn’t even had a baby (except for the obvious fact that I was holding a newborn).  What was I trying to prove?  Well I had denied myself and stayed pissed and frustrated for 9 months!!!! I wanted to show off!!  But what is the point of this? To boost my poor self-worth and identity by making others feel jealous, resentful or bad.  I see other moms taking these pics and posting them. And now, having been one of them, I just kind of grimace thinking how they will feel when they make this realization later themselves.

The positive…

  •  You don’t have to spend so much energy in the months after pregnancy.  You don’t have to fight for a restoration in your self-control.  You can maintain all of your working out and nutrition habits picking up right where you left off.
  • Your clothes and wardrobe.  Bye-bye maternity (if you even ever had to switch over to maternity).  Hello pre-pregnancy clothes…like within weeks of giving birth.  And actually after a couple of months, when you begin to look like that concentration camp victim, you can buy some new clothes fit for a runway model (like Kate Moss).
  • You will have confidence.  You did something really hard and maintained self-control in fitness in nutrition throughout.  (see above point on being full of yourself)

The Second Approach Pregnancy: Give in for a season. Get fat. Have fun. Then fight later to get back to fit.

This is the one that most (even fit women) women choose I think. Let go. Give into the junk cravings and hibernation instinct. Enjoy how awesome ALL food tastes (seriously one time I announced in normal conversation that food tasted even better than when I used to smoke weed! I have no filter when I’m pregnant…ugh), and a season of freedom (most of the time) from guilt.  Enjoy resting your body and taking a reprieve from intense workouts (or workouts at all).  Step out from under the pressure of a fitness life style for a few months.

The negative…

  • You will gain more weight and probably lose some muscle.
  • You will look at those smiling “fit pregnancy” blog posters and feel guilty. Don’t read those.
  • You will probably find satisfaction and pleasure in the wrong things: sweets, junk, and the chemical brain release these drugs will give you.
  • You will have to strap down for a few months after pregnancy.  Two-a-day workouts and a very clean (restricted) diet.  Many fit women are able to bounce back to their normal fit bodies within 6 months.
  • But… for 6 months you will feel strange in your own skin.  For 6 months you will be limited in wardrobe not wanting to continue wearing maternity but not fitting yet into your pre-pregnancy clothes.
  • Possibly another negative is for the baby. But as long as you are taking pre-natals and enough calcium, the baby will get all she needs and be more likely to be healthy if you gain too much than all the risks to her if you gain too little.

The positive…

  • You will be on the same journey that most pregnant women are on after pregnancy.  You will find community, friendship, and smiles in the doctor’s office at your postpartum.
  • You will give your body and person a rest.  A season to just have fun and enjoy being a fat pregnant lady. Rest your body, take it easy.  And take a break from society’s pressures.
  • When you get back to it…You will enjoy the thrill of working out again and shaping your body back into the sculpted shape it once was in.  It’s amazing how wonderful working out feels once you are able to again with new endorphin-driven energy.  You have your natural energy back and the thrill of working out that you used to enjoy is all the sudden new to you again. You fall in love with fitness all over again.
  • And with nutrition.   You get the chance to delve back into nutritious eating in a deeper and more satisfying way. It takes a little extra oomph to get back to where you were, and this results in learning new nutrition (and fitness) strategies that might have been left undiscovered had you not been faced with the challenge. After my second pregnancy (where I took this 2nd approach), I became plant-based, vegan.  I loved it.  I could feel my internal systems cleaning and becoming new.
  • You will embrace pregnancy and being a mom.  When you let go, you are not resentful of pregnancy robbing you of your fit body.  You disconnect your worth and identity from what you look like. You realize that people in your life, especially the new life you created, love and cherish you for the beauty that you are not what you look like. This clean slate experience allows you to enter back into your fitness journey afresh.  No longer is there a harmful connection to your worth, but you are merely having fun doing what you love (and cherishing the body God gave you).


There are probably some in between ways to approach pregnancy too.  Heck. You could take a couple years off afterward and just focus on being a mom, giving little thought to your nutrition and fitness.  I’ve seen some friends do this. For some, it was a vanity-crusher (in a good way) for some it was a soul-crusher causing them to feel depressed.  Some just let go a little during pregnancy, and then have a little less work to do afterward.  It’s actually just as aggravating (for me anyway) to go this route. And if I just go ahead and give into a craving to eat 3 candy bars a night for two weeks, my hormones adjust my appetite and cravings for the weeks after (where I naturally crave and eat less).

The funny thing is.  I’m on track to gain about the same this pregnancy as I did my last.  And this weight gain is only different than the first, restrictive-approach pregnancy by about 7 lbs.  The result is that I ended up actually a lot fitter 9 months after my second pregnancy than I was 9 months after my first pregnancy.  I ended up more humble too, in a better place spiritually.

The fat, fun approach to pregnancy definitely has had more positives for me. But maybe for some, the fit approach would be healthier.  I think the approach you choose to take is yours.  We are all wired differently and have different hang-ups and issues. You will probably find your own unique approach to pregnancy. It’s between you and God. Only He knows what is best.  I just wanted to give some feedback on my experience with both ways.

***But please….whatever you do…don’t take that early, post-partum, side-profile body pose picture. Everyone knows why you are posting it. You won’t get as many of the “I can’t believe you just had a baby!” comments you were wanting. If you are posting one of these or have, I highly recommend taking the FAT pregnancy approach next time if there is a next time. It’s probably what your soul/spirit needs.***


Peace and wholeness,



How to Pray Powerful Prayers *FREE* Printable Prayer Guide

how to pray powerful prayers

How to Pray Powerful Prayers

New Series on Prayer and Praying the Prayers of the Apostles

*Free Printable Prayer Guide using the Ephesians 1 Apostolic Prayer* Printable Prayer Guide – Ephesians 1

how to pray powerful prayers

photo credit


The early church had it going on, didn’t they? They walked in anointing and power.  They knew how to pray powerful prayers.  I mean how to pray powerful prayers that shook physical foundations, cast out demons, brought revival, set men and women free…how to pray powerful prayers that caused miracles and healings.  These are all needs that we still need (desperately) today in our personal lives, our families, our churches, our cities.

I feel the Bible gave us a model for how to pray powerful prayers.  By using the prayers of the apostles, we can dialogue with God with the same confidence and power that the early church had.  I was taught a lot about this at an internship on prayer / intercession at the  International House of Prayer in Kansas City.  This doctrinal training has served me well in my prayer life. I feel it is a great tool in learning how to pray powerful prayers so I felt moved to share this model with those seeking how to pray powerful prayers.

printable prayer guideAt the bottom of this post, I have a practical prayer journal for the Ephesians 1 apostolic prayer and a resource that reveals in greater detail the treasure to be found within the walls of this great and powerful prayer.  Simply print out the free printable prayer journal or printable prayer template.   The instructions that I use/ have been taught are at the top.

I find this anointed album to be very helpful as a background or soundtrack to prayerMusic to pray to-Young Oceans Steady the Stars


The notes of the main pastor from this church describe in great detail the apostolic prayer model. Below are the notes from Bickle of IHOP-KC on the value of praying the prayers of the apostles.


A. When I intercede, I almost always use the prayers of the Bible. The prayers that Jesus, Paul, and

Peter prayed are recorded for our benefit. I refer to them as the “apostolic prayers” because they are

the prayers that Jesus prayed as our chief apostle (Heb. 3:1) and that the Spirit gave to the apostles.

Including doxologies, there are about thirty apostolic prayers (see a list of these on

B. The apostolic prayers are a valuable gift to the church being the prayers that burned in God’s heart

and give us the language of His heart. He never changes, so be assured they still burn in His heart.

C. These prayers are guaranteed! They are like checks already signed in heaven and waiting only for a

co-signer on the earth to be cashed. They are as relevant today as they were in the early church.


A. All the prayers in the New Testament are God-centered prayers; each one is addressed to God.

Not one apostolic prayer is addressed to the devil. God-centered prayer, including spiritual warfare

prayer, is the model set forth in the New Testament. It is the model the early church used in

resisting and dislodging demonic forces and cultural strongholds (Eph. 6:12; 2 Cor. 10:3-5).

B. All the prayers of Jesus that are recorded in the Bible were directed to the Father (Jn. 14:16; 17:5,

11, 15, 25). Jesus taught His disciples to direct their prayers to the Father (Mt. 18:19; Lk. 11:2, 13).

The apostles’ prayers also teach us to address the Father when we pray. In the “warfare epistle ”

Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he addressed all his prayers to the Father (Eph. 1:16–17; 3:14, 16, 20).


A. The apostolic prayers are positive prayers asking God for the impartation of positive things instead

of the removal of negative things. For example, Paul prayed for love to abound instead of asking for

the removal of hatred (Phil. 1:9). He prayed for the impartation of unity instead of praying against

division (Rom. 15:5). He asked for peace to increase instead of fear to be removed (Rom. 15:13).

He did not pray against sin but asked for an increase of holiness, purity, and love (1 Thes. 3:12-13).

Even Paul’s requests to be delivered from evil men are positive in focusing on the deliverance of

God’s people rather than on exposing or bringing down the evil men persecuting them (2 Thes. 3:2).

B. I believe that one reason God established “positive prayers” as the norm in the New Testament is to

enhance unity and love in the church. Some pray “negative prayers” that focus on sin in the church

or its leadership; often such prayers feel judgmental and angry. Others in the prayer meeting do not

agree with the view or tone that was expressed in the negative prayer, so the prayer results in

creating an unnecessary division among some of the people at that prayer meeting.

C. The Lord knew that praying for the impartation of positive virtues, instead of focusing on removing

negative characteristics, would unify intercessors and heal some of the negative emotions against

the church in the very people praying for the Church.


D. I noticed change in my life in the early days as I prayed for the church using apostolic prayers with

their positive language. Little by little I became more positive in my emotions and developed more

mercy and kindness in my heart toward weaknesses in the church.

E. The positive focus that comes from using the apostolic prayers can also help us to operate in faith.

The apostolic prayers provide us with good theology for a victorious church. A man once asked me,

“Why do you believe the church will be victorious?” I told him to look at the prayers of Jesus and

the apostles for the church. My theology on a victorious church and revival was formed partially by

praying the New Testament prayers. These prayers were given by the Spirit, so we know they will

be fully answered. The church will walk in great power, purity, and unity before Jesus returns.

F. Positive apostolic prayers facilitate unity, impact our emotions, and build our faith. The Father is

the “Great Psychologist.” He designed these prayers to help human hearts flow well and work

together in unity with a spirit of encouragement and faith.


A. The vast majority of the apostolic prayers are focused on strengthening of the church, not on the lost

or the transformation of society. This does not mean that God is ambivalent about the lost or society

or that we are not to pray for these things. The only prayer in the New Testament that is focused on

the salvation of the lost is Romans 10:1 where Paul prayed for Israel that they might be saved.

B. Why are the vast majority of the apostolic prayers for the strengthening the church? Because God’s

primary plan to reach the lost or to impact a city is by anointing His church with power and love.

When we pray for the whole church in a city to be revived in love and power, the answer to these

prayers will have an immense impact on the lost. Many unbelievers will inevitably come to Jesus

and society will be changed as the church in that city walks in the power of the Spirit.

C. We see this principle at work in the city of Ephesus. The preaching of the Word of God was so

powerfully anointed that its influence “grew mightily and prevailed” across Ephesus (Acts 19:20).

God’s strategy was to raise up a large, anointed church with congregations across the whole city

that would win a great harvest in all Asia. What happened in Ephesus was so powerful that

everyone who lived in Asia “heard the word of the Lord” from Paul and others in this church.

10…so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus…20So the word of the Lord

grew mightily and prevailed. (Acts 19:10, 20)

D. Considering the limited communication and transportation systems of the day, it seems likely that

for all in Asia to hear the Word, they had to hear it not only from Paul but also from many believers

who were a part of the large church at Ephesus that was inspired by Paul’s anointed preaching.

E. When preachers are anointed and the church is revived, the saints will speak the Word and do the

works of the kingdom with great consistency and a multitude of unbelievers will come to Jesus.

F. We do well to labor in prayer for an increase of the measure of the Spirit’s anointing on the church,

knowing that a harvest will surely result. No power can prevent the lost from coming to Jesus in

great numbers when the church is revived and operating together in the anointing of the Spirit. Full notes can be found here.


Resource specifically on Ephesians 1 and the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation and here is the Sermon on Ephesians 1 The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation


Click below for the free, printable prayer guide that I created to guide you specifically through praying Ephesians 1.  I pray that it blesses you and that you see great breakthrough from your powerful prayers. It’s in 8 X 11 format and can be hole-punched and put into a notebook as I hope to make free, printable guides for each of the apostolic prayers and maybe even other prayers of the Bible.

How to Pray Powerful Prayers – Praying the Prayers of the Apostles – Free, Printable Prayer Guide / Prayer Journal


Also, here is a printable prayer journal template page that I use for intercession prayer.Printable Prayer Journal Template Page

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