A Servant’s Heart: Carrie Underwood

by Kimmie

True story: I went to church with Carrie Underwood.

It was a warm, sunny Sunday at the end of July 2012. Ryan and I were still dating at the time, and we had traveled down to Nashville, TN, to visit his best friend and his best friend’s wife. They asked us if we wanted to go to GracePointe Church, and I was excited to experience some Nashville worship.

So as I sat there, surveying my surroundings, I noticed a blonde-haired woman sitting directly to my right in the next section over…and she looked awfully familiar. It took me a good minute to realize that I was staring at Carrie Underwood. (Let me tell you, she’s even more beautiful in person.)

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Prayer ADHD: How to Focus While Praying

by Tiffany Dawn

Let me give you a sneak peek into my prayer life: 

“Good morning, God. Thank you for this day; I’m so excited to spend it with you…which reminds me, I need to return that book to the library today. I wonder if there’s anything else I want to get while I’m there. Maybe they have some old seasons of NCIS! I’m so sad DiNozzo is gone now; it’s just not the same without him. Just like my life wouldn’t be the same without James (my hubs). He’s so sweet. I can’t believe he emptied the dish drain for me this morning. That was so kind! …Oh, wait! I was praying! Where was I? Oh yes. Thank you God for this day…”

I like to call this “Prayer ADHD.”

Have you ever experienced it? Let me tell you, it can be a REAL STRUGGLE.

So today I want to share a video of five prayer life hacks that help me focus my mind, and I hope they can help you too! And comment below: What helps you focus while praying? Because I want to hear — and try! — your ideas.

Check out the hacks in this video:

Love, Tiffany

Women, Role Models, & Nutrition

by Janna Neitzel

This month is meant to serve as a reminder of how special, unique, and influential women are. (Additionally, just FYI, March is also National Nutrition Month. Just to give a shameless shoutout to my field of interest.)

As I look back on my career path, I see three key players who helped me find out what I wanted to do with my life. Let me introduce them to you…

First, I have to explain: There are two things I particularly love.

  1. I adore fruits, vegetables, baked potatoes, and anything else I can pull or pluck from a garden and eat without washing. (It’s a habit I still wrestle to break, even though I am now a grown, highly educated adult.)
  2. I. Love. Running.

So when I first became intrigued by nutrition, it was no surprise — and I was primarily looking at it from a sports performance perspective.

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Bloom Where You Are Planted: Why I Admire Joanna Gaines

by Alyssa Kuiken

To say I’m a huge fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper is probably a bit of an understatement.

If you’re ever looking for me on a Tuesday night at 9pm, you will find me sitting in front of a TV watching the latest episode.

I can’t quite pinpoint one thing in specific that drew me to the show.  Instead, I think it was a combination of things:

  1. Joanna’s eye for design
  2. Chip’s antics and Joanna’s patience
  3. How this husband and wife team truly seems to bring out the best in each other
  4. The love Chip and Jo express, not only for their work and for each other, but also for their four kids

As a result, I’ve been a Joanna Gaines fan since the pilot episode aired. I love watching the transformation that takes place with each renovation Chip and Jo tackle together. I love watching how Joanna thoughtfully decorates/stages each home. And, I love watching for new ideas or tips on how to decorate or fix up my own home.

Here’s the thing, I’m kind of a decorating nerd (for lack of a better word). I love hunting through antique stores for hidden treasures to bring home. I think moving furniture around is fun. And I enjoy the challenge of making a space “pretty.” Basically, I love making a house feel like a home.

So, naturally, when Joanna Gaines wrote a book (along with Chip), I wanted to read it. And I did- twice.

And both times I cried.

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The women who have changed my life

The women who have changed my life — and how you can change someone else’s life too.

by Julia Robison

I’m gonna set the stage for you: Imagine 8th grade Julia.

(Oh gosh, had to go deep in the Facebook archives for this photo… you are welcome.)

So this 8th grader is at a church retreat and she “falls in love” with one of the church staff. (No, this is not real love, but to an 8th grader this is a HUGE DEAL.) She finds out that this leader has a very serious girlfriend…and SHE IS CRUSHED.

Another leader on the trip — a sophmore in high school — comes and listens to her, sits with her as she cries, and then makes her laugh when she thinks she will never laugh again.

That started much more than a friendship; it also sparked a love for getting to know women who are a few steps ahead of me in life.

Role Models and Mentors are some of the greatest gifts that God has placed on the earth — although, granted a very different type of gift than donuts or coffee.

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Social Media Tips

by Tiffany Dawn

This week I had SUCH a fun opportunity — and one I hope to have many more times!! I got to share about my journey in growing “The Insatiable Quest for Beauty,” and specifically how social media has helped me grow & market my brand. You can watch it here. If you’re starting a ministry or if you’re an entrepreneur at heart, I hope this can help you as well!! 🙂 ❤

#RealTalk – I Also Hate Scales

by Amanda Mercer

Before I write this post, I would like to clarify a few things:

1. This post is meant to be an encouragement and inspiration, it is NOT to toot my own horn.

2. I’m not bashing weekly weigh-ins or denying that a scale can be a good tool.

3. I’m not looking for a million compliments or haters.

Ok… now that you have some guidelines…

Sometimes I think that people believe that trainers are above the daily fitness and self-image struggles that seem to plague the rest of the world.

My trainer never wants/eats/craves junk food. FALSE. 

My trainer never gets tired. ABSOLUTELY FALSE. 

My trainer must love his or her body all the time. A COMPLETE LIE.

Show me a trainer who has never once struggled with body image and I will gladly invest in some training sessions with them. I could use that kind of mental resiliency.

But the truth is we struggle. We doubt. We criticize ourselves. We roll our eyes. We sigh. We avoid mirrors. We obsess about the scale.

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Making Head Knowledge Heart Knowledge

by Kimmie Plummer

I have to admit, this was a hard blog post for me to write because this is something I struggle with ALL.THE.TIME. I rewrote my words too many times, hoping that I could eloquently convey my message. Instead, I am afraid this will be raw, rough, and entirely too honest.

For as long as I can remember, I have been an over-analyzer. I have to think things through over and over and over again, hoping to glean just a bit more information.

It’s like, I know in my head that I’m a daughter of God, but my heart keeps asking:

I know that I am at a healthy weight, but why don’t I fit into size 2 jeans?

I feel pretty today, but why don’t I look like her?

I am a good person, but why don’t I like myself today?

I am trying so hard, but why is it never enough? 

I know I am strong, so why do I let others tear me down?

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Do you like you?

by Tiffany Dawn

Do you like you?

My husband asked me that question the other day, and I had to stop and think. Well…do I?

This is a journey I’ve been on for much of my life. I finally did like myself when I was single, but getting married added a whole new element and I’ve had to relearn old lessons. (Learn more about that here.)

This 3-minute video lets you into my own personal journey to figure out how to like the person God made me to be — so I can love other people better and better.

Please do leave your thoughts in the comment box so we can learn from each other. Hope you enjoy!

<3, Tiffany Dawn