I really gotta let it go…Thanks George.

Image Credit: MCA Nashville

Image Credit: MCA Nashville

I am a music lover.  Take a look at my Itunes library and you will find Kirk Franklin, Chris Tomlin, Jay Z, Rascal Flatts, Bob Marley and a couple of hard rock songs here and there.

On Sunday, I watched a little of the ACM Awards and I had the great opportunity to hear George Strait sing a medley of his classic “All my Ex’s Live in Texas” and his newest song, “Let It Go”. When he smoothly crooned “Let It Go”, everyone swayed side to side and seemed to listen intently to his lyrics…including me.

Here are a few lines:

Love’s great until it’s not
Hearts break but the world don’t stop
When it rains, man, it pours you can’t change the course
You can wish on a star but if it ain’t in the cards

Let it go, sometimes you gotta let it go
Let it all wash on under the bridge, blow it a kiss
Give it a rest ‘cause it is what it is

You never know
What’s waiting just up the road
Sooner or later that sun’s gonna shine
Luck will turn on a dime
And when the good times roll let ‘em roll
But when they don’t
Let it go

Let it go
You really gotta let it go
Let it go
Sometimes you gotta let it go
Let it go

As the work week began and dread reared her ugly head, I kept singing the line “and when the good times roll let ’em roll but when they don’t…let it go”.  Now as much as I love music, country songs don’t traditionally usually get stuck in my brain.  Perhaps it is the steel drum and steel guitar arrangement of “Let It Go” that remind me of the beach?

Perhaps, it was God, using one of his infinite ways (music) to speak to me?

Whatever the reason, George Strait is right….I really gotta let some stuff go.

If you are REALLY honest, I bet you have some things you need to let go of too.

And since we are being honest, I’ve tried “letting go” before and it is easier said than done.

So, how do you let  it go?

After thinking about the lyrics, I decided to ask God through prayer and Bible study how to really let go.

Here are two truths I discovered:

1. Letting Go is a choice.  It doesn’t happen spontaneously when you are no longer bothered by a situation.  Letting go is an active decision to no longer dwell on what happened all while still feeling raw because of what happened.

…But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV)

2. To truly “let go”, I must relinquish the “right” to get even.  This means acknowledging life is not fair yet God is the judge and will right the wrongs. In practical terms…it is surrendering my will to keep defending myself, continuing to argue my point, and/or manipulating people or situations towards an outcome I am attached to. (OOOH)

Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” (Romans 12:19 MSG)

So, happy Hump Day!  Where do you needed to “Let It Go”?  Just like the song says:  “You never know what’s waiting up the road”.

Watch the George Strait’s performance on AMC awards 2015 HERE.  The man is amazing and touches all genres of music…the rapper Drake quoted him in his song HYFR.

Let It Go 

Enjoy Valentine’s Day..Single, Married, or “It’s complicated”

broken_heartSo tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  I don’t know about you but my Facebook feed is full of pictures of flowers, candy, balloons and status updates of special date plans.  When you have your own flowers, candy and special plans, other people’s pictures are just other people’s pictures.

When you are alone, but really want to be in a relationship , married but things are far from wedded bliss, divorced, or in the no-man zone of separation,  other people’s flowers and candy can cause your eyes to roll.

The eyes roll but as you longingly look at every one else’s “seemingly perfect love relationship”, the heart can sink.

Even if it is not a relationship. What about all of those really cute Valentine crafts and baked goods people post on Pinterest?

One quick stroll through social media and if we are not careful, we can begin to compare our selves with others.  Not in a I-have-no-life-and-I-am-bitter kind of way but just in a way that softly reminds us…..things are not as we would like.

Sometimes we were ok with ourselves UNTIL we looked at our news feed and then we figured are not as fit, talented, dedicated or loved as someone else.

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” ~Steve Furtick

So, as I chart the new territory of not having a Valentine, I challenge myself and you to enjoy this Valentine’s Day by writing down three things that are going well in our lives and by NOT comparing! 

Everything is NOT always as it seems anyway.

I found this picture on Pinterest FAIL! Love it!

Pinterest fail Valentine's Day!

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. Galatians 6:4

 

I Am Enough

It has been ten months since I have written on this blog. This blog with my name.

I love to write and at the beginning of last year, I would have told you writing is part of my ministry.

“Katina J. Rice the “Jesus girl”, speaker, writer, dancer, mama…pharmacist by day hip swinging dance fitness instructor by night.

Katina-A

Oh yea,….her.

Life went topsy turvy and I lost her.  I couldn’t bring myself to scratch out words anywhere, not on my blogs, in a journal, on a random piece of paper or on the inside of gum wrap. No words for my hurt.

No words but plenty of activity: prayer, work, carpool, dance, laundry, chores, errands, soccer, volleyball, piano, Zumba, friend, daughter, Bible Study leader. And so, no time for writing my words only time for getting from one day to the next without any regard for what I REALLY wanted.

As Christians, we are supposed to live a surrendered life right? Die to self. (You’ve heard that before).  Well, if that is true, does what I want even matter?  Does my hurt even matter?  The kiddos aren’t gonna get themselves to school, dinner and practice.  Bills still need to be paid so off to work I go… even-though my stomach gets in knots every Sunday afternoon. Life didn’t stop because I had a knife in my heart.

I got tired of talking about it and I felt like other people got tired of hearing about it. Everyone has problems.

“I’m not the first and I won’t be the last.  Pick yourself up by the bootstraps. Pray harder”…none of these worked.  They made me feel worse.

I spent the last six months of 2014 desperately trying to get over things and be happy.  If I just had more faith! Right?

So 2015 came in and I vowed things would be different.  I was going to feel better.

January was on its way out and I felt worse.  I looked at other dance fitness instructors making things happen in their careers and I shamed myself for not doing more.  No energy to do more…..more shame.  Other pharmacists on my job LOVE it…what is my problem?  More shame.

So I began to plan to do more even though I didn’t have any energy.  I had to do more cause my hurt made me feel so low.  Surely, if I do more, achieve more, apply for a new job, pray more, start a new ministry…..something.

Over dinner, I shared all my “plans” with a friend.  Then she asked me a pressing question.  The kind of question only a person with your best interest at heart will ask:  “Why do you want to do all that stuff?  Do you not think you are enough?”

I didn’t answer her at first.  But as I thought about it later, my answer was No.

No because to be completely honest, my heart is broken in two.

No because I sometimes want to get in my car and keep going rather than deal with my teenage daughter.

No because I am a daughter of the King yet my self talk does not reflect my lineage.

As I prayed over the next few days God revealed these truths to me:

Enough is not accomplishment.

Enough has NOTHING to do with being chosen or discarded by people.

Enough is right now…even if right now is hurting, not really feeling it and shame.

Since God’s Spirit lives in me and in you, Enough is on the inside.

Looking and striving for ENOUGH is like looking for my sunglasses and they are right on the top of my head.

Last weekend, I had my dance fitness class do an exercise with a plain white t-shirt where we each wrote our “word theme” for 2015.

Katina-enoughI wrote.. I AM ENOUGH on my t-shirt.

For the first time in a very long time, I meant it.

(Enough…even with no earrings or make-up!)

I am enough

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Christmas Crunch Time-Be Flexible

Flexible-kjr

It is almost THE DAY…Christmas…the culmination of the “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.  Over the next week, families will gather, travel to gather,split their time between various households, attend church services and all other kinds of “good stuff”.

It is all of this “good stuff” ( the who, what, where and why) that often leaves people just wanting the whole holiday thing to be over or simply dreading it before it starts.  Perhaps it is just me but creating Hallmark Card or ABC Family Holiday Movie quality Christmas memories can be difficult.

I struggle with the “who, what, where, hustle-bustle and gift-buying” part Christmas every year.  Even when I thought I had the whole thing figured out and I put my foot down on some things….plans changed.

So my mantra this Christmas is to be Flexible.

Everything is NOT going to go as I planned and that is ok.  Better yet, that may be for the best. (I will have to remind myself of this over and over…because things just go better when they are done my way. Hehe!)

People’s lives change–weddings, deaths, births, sickness.  What has ALWAYS worked for years may or may not work this year or EVER again.

Top all the plan changes, gifts, and family  with the realization that somebody will probably dance on your happy and you have a recipe for the famous “Unmet-Christmas-Expectations-fruitcake”!

As the moments progress….pretend you are playing twister and remember to be flexible.Image Source: Wikipedia

“If we aren’t careful to be intentional, the joy of the holiday season can quickly be replaced with hard feelings, anger, and disappointment. More than anything, sometimes extending grace to ourselves and others is the simplest way to allow us to experience the most wonderful time of the year.”-Kelly Gordon (www.simplemom.net)

Colossians 3:12-14 (NLT)

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Five Minute Friday-Write..and I am 40

Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. The word for today is WRITE. Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

Me with hatI turned the big 4-0 on Monday.  Honestly, it was a little harder than I thought.  I don’t feel older, I guess I just began to realize that over half of my life is well…..over.  Kind of shocking to think of it that way.  However, thinking of it as half over places a sense of urgency on me to make the years that I have left REALLY count.

Have you celebrated any milestone birthdays that made you reflect on your life?

As I look back over my life and think about the things that have consistently brought me joy, the words dance and write bubble up to the top of my mind.  As I stand with over half of my life behind me, it is getting harder and harder to silence the little girl in me who wants to write and dance for a living.

The practical side of me that has always been able to push through and do what is logical, is now fighting against this 40-year-old inner spirit who will NOT be silenced.

Believe me, I have tried to not get so excited about dancing a new song in class.  I have prayed.  “God please just make me normal.”  I have longed to just love my day job and be a go-to-work-and-come-home kind of girl. (It would be so much easier.)

NO DICE:(

May I ask a birthday favor of you?  I think I have worn down the ears of my dear friends:  Keysier, Larae, Traci and Kim.  Will you pray for me, my dreams and this sassy, 40- year-old attitude?

Thank you in advance,

I need it.

What do you need prayer about?  Tell me in the comments:)

 

 

Wreck it Ralph…Really?-Pour Your Heart Out

 

My girls were out of school last Monday and since we get all the newest movies at our local movie theater for $3.00, we took the girls to see Wreck It Ralph. Yes, I know. My husband and I both rolled our eyes as we walked through the theater doors. We didn’t expect much and were pleasantly surprised!

Perhaps hubby and I were entertained because we are 80’s arcade kids. The set of the movie is a hidden world of video game characters and what they do at night, after the children have all left the arcade. It kind of reminded me of Toy Story.

“Ralph” is the heel in a video game called Fix-It Felix Jr. His job in the game is to destroy buildings and try to keep Felix from repairing the damage. Felix fixes everything, so the game always ends with Felix getting a metal. As the resident “bad guy”, Ralph NEVER gets a medal. He does his best as a “bad guy” but no one EVER notices.  He even attends “BAD-ANON”–hilarious!

Ralph decides to take charge of his life and get some glory for himself.  So, he leaves his game to get a medal.  After some really funny twists and turns, Ralph finds himself in the kart racing game Sugar Rush. Sugar Rush is where he meets a fellow outcast – a glitched character named Vanellope Von Schweetz who is not allowed to race.

Ralph and Vanellope develop a true friendship. The banter between Ralph and Vanellope kept me laughing.  It is through their friendship that Ralph learns what being a real hero is all about and it has nothing to do with medals. Finally he says and means “There’s no one else I’d rather be than me”.

Proverbs 19:21  Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

There is no showmanship in heroism. There is just the next thing. Sometimes that thing might feel small – like helping your kid with his math homework. And sometimes it might feel big…” Lisa Jo Baker

Did you know that you are hero material?  Medals are not required.

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Shell over at Things I can’t say
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Five Minute Friday-Here

Five Minute FridayEvery Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and then write until the timer goes off. The word for today is Here. Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

Here is the only thing I have right now.  Here is the place I am currently located at any given point of time.  Here is the product of my yesterdays.  Yet, so often I ask God, “How did I get HERE?”. 

If I am really honest, I don’t spend a lot of time “here” mentally.   I am often thinking and planning on the next thing.

“Of course things will be better when I am THERE instead of here, right?”

Well, that all depends.  When I get THERE, I will really be at the very place I am currently located…..HERE (then).

Dear God, help me remember that THERE  is really HERE when I get to it.  Oh Lord, forgive me for always striving for the next bling without enjoying the raw beauty of the gem called “HERE”.

Matthew 6:30-33 (The Message)

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”

 

Carpe Diem

Today I decided to literally “Carpe Diem” on the last morning of our beach trip.  I had my coffee looking out into the deep ocean the and listening to the babbling sound of the not yet open lazy pool.  As soon as the pools opened, I relaxed in the jacuzzi–all before our 11am check out!

 

As I relaxed and reflected over our fabulous week of: family time, swimming, dance competition, great eats and riding the waves of the Atlantic Ocean on boogie boards, I began to feel a tinge of dread entering my body.  It is funny, mixed in with the dread was also gratitude for my opportunity to rest, relax and have fun. 

So, as always, I had a choice.  Dread the rest of the day and loathe going home or not.  What in the world did “NOT” dreading look like? 

Well, not dreading meant making jokes during the 2&1/2 hours of traffic just to get off the beach! (Uggh)

It also meant taking a little detour to a place called “South of the Border”.   South of the Border located in Dillon, S.C., is a 350-acre roadside attraction with shops, restaurants, some really odd concrete statues,  and a cartoon mascot named Pedro.  With it’s Mexican theme made complete with wild colors, South of the Border in its hey day was as close to Las Vegas lights as we could get in North and South Carolina. 

I had great memories of being mesmorized by all of the colors and lights at South of the Border when I was a little girl.  My husband and children had never been and after hours just trying to get off the beach, a detour was JUST what the doctor ordered!

The 2012 South of the Border is just a shell of what it used to be.  It is now outdated, dirty, smelly and only partially functional.  However, we enjoyed an ice cream cone and laughed until our stomachs hurt about how South of the Border reminded us of Mr. Krabs’ Krabby Land from Spongebob!

A good friend sent me a wonderful quote from Joel Osteen that sums it up best:

(I encourage you today; don’t let the precious moments of life pass you by……Remember, each day is unique and irreplaceable, a gift from heaven above. You have been given time that can be invested or wasted; hours that can be used or misused.)

Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

The good wholesome laugh was sooooo worth it! We wouldn’t have had it any other way! Can’t you just hear us saying “Cheeeeeese”? 

Seize your days Divas!

-Pour Your Heart Out

This past weekend, I hosted a fitness event to help raise awareness about heart disease. It was a “girls’ night out” type event. There were vendors, a skit, devotion time and a fabulous workout!

The platform that I used for the workout is my newest adventure, Devoted Fitness. Devoted Fitness is a dance fitness program set to Christian music and was created by Larae Puckett out of Nashville, Tennessee.

After much deliberation and prayer, I decided to become a Certified Devoted Fitness Instructor and corporate Choreography Assistant in September of 2011.

Why so much deliberation and prayer you ask?

Well, I had the idea to create my own faith based fitness program before I decided to become a Devoted Fitness Instructor. Actually, it was while doing my business market research that I found Devoted Fitness.

One day, I decided just to call the company and see what it was all about. (I had been following Devoted Fitness for over a year via Facebook by that point.) I expected to get a voice mail but I heard a sweet voice on the other end of the phone say… Hello?

It totally took me off guard and I stuttered just a bit before clamoring through who I was. The crazy is part is that after I told the person on the other end of the phone who I was, she said that she KNEW who I was and that she had been following me via Facebook! The person on the other end of the phone was Larae Puckett.

During the conversation, Larae expressed her admiration for what I was doing in my local community and stepped out of her comfort zone and spoke to me about being a Choreography Assistant for the Devoted Fitness.

I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to join Devoted Fitness.

If I told you that I just accepted the Lord’s nudging and went ahead all smiles, I would be lying.

I already had a successful Zumba class and plans for my OWN Christian Fitness program.

People even told me that I should create my own and not join Devoted Fitness because I would always be “repping” someone else’s product.

I prayed and God’s answer remained the same. So, I decided to be obedient.

The lofty goal of creating my own program–tabled at least for a while, right along with the limelight and fame that may come along with it. Of course Satan had to weigh in on the issue as well. “You will NEVER be able to leave your job and dance full time ALWAYS working for someone else”. Uggh

Divas, God is not finished yet! He has shown me how being obedient pays off and is truly best for us. Over time, I realized that creating a full program is just not what is best for me financially or for the stage of life that our family is in RIGHT NOW. I also learned that I LOVE teaching and interacting with my students. Creating a program while working full time, wifeying and mommying would most likely take me away from what I love the most.

I started my Devoted Fitness classes in January during my Saturday classes. The number of women that have been coming to class has tripled.

I have made it my goal not to get sidetracked by the numbers but to focus on the women that God is allowing me to minister to through fitness. It has been an amazing ride.

Yet as amazing as a ride as it has been, if I told you that I don’t still struggle with the fear of never being able to dance full time or my pride of wanting the limelight for a program that I created, I would be lying AGAIN!

Although I sometimes struggle, I truly believe that I made the right decision. Larae is an awesome leader and Devoted Fitness is a wonderful program. In the Devoted Fitness training manual, the first thing she teaches is that we are to be vessels not rock stars!

In the world’s view, being the founder or creator, being famous, or rich are the only ways to measure true success. So not the case in God’s Kingdom.

I found this awesome quote: “…….be driven to stay in peace instead of falling to pieces. Stay in your own lane of purpose, dreams and hope. Carry your own map and allow the Lord to be your navigator.” ~ Jewel Diamond Taylor

1 Peter 5:6
So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time.

Check out this video of Larae and me dancing last weekend:

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Shell at Things I can’t say.

First World Problems

It is a little after 11pm and to tell you that the Sunday Blues or the Monday Dreads have set in is a true understatement.

As I reflect back over the day, I did get got a lot of things accomplished. The girls and I watched the movie “Cyberbully” this afternoon. It was a fantastic movie and we had a really a good discussion afterwards.

Although I did get some things done, and played my “Mother Knows Best” role in our movie discussion, I still ended up frazzled and down this evening.

Just before going off into full Drama Queen Scarlett O’hara mode, I thought about a term our youth pastor’s wife, Brooke Marston mentioned. A couple of weeks ago, Brooke was talking to the kids about not whining about not having a place to sit for a few minutes; she called it a “First World Problem”.

Yes, we live in a First world. All types of things that we take for granted are at our fingertips. In third world countries, people worry IF they are going to eat and when they do eat, will they have clean water? WOW……..

At this very moment, there is a mother in a third world country with Sunday Blues. Her blues are most assuredly for different reasons than mine. Although I didn’t get everything done, I have a warm home, plenty of food, opportunities, a job to go to tomorrow, health care, and the list goes on and on.

Divas, life can get hard and there are REAL problems even in the first world. However, if we are REALLY honest, we get our feathers all ruffled over things that pale in comparison to worrying about having clean water.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Let’s jump into this new week mindful our “firstworldproblems” so that we may become an agent for change of others’ third world problems.

I found this video with a rap about first world problems and I think it is hilarious!

Have a great week!