Are You Like Esau?

Are you like Esau | www.teawithtiffanyp.com

More than likely, you’re in one of two camps. The first camp is wondering, Who the heck is Esau? The second camp, while familiar with Esau, hesitantly answers, I don’t think so. Regardless of camp, keep reading. I promise there’s a lesson to be learned.

While I’ve read the story of Esau and Jacob many times, the story resonated with me in a fresh, new way while reading the Made To Crave devotional on the Holy Bible App (If you don’t have this app, download it now!). In Genesis 25, Esau arrives home after a long day of hunting, hungry and exhausted. In Esau’s distress, he trades his firstborn birthright for a measly bowl of soup.

Can I be vulnerable with you? A while back, I erroneously thought food was the problem. When I found myself head first in a family-size bag of nacho cheese Doritos (good, right?) or knee deep in a jar of peanut butter, I took it out on the food. No, I didn’t beat the food up silly. But, in that moment, I swore to never buy chips or peanut butter again. Talk about unrealistic! Clearly it was the food’s fault and had to be exiled from the pantry! Sounds familiar?

In my heart, I knew it wasn’t the food I craved. In Lysa Terkeurst’s book, Made To Crave, she helps women understand how cravings for lasting spiritual satisfaction are often mistaken for cravings for food. When I found a FREE 21 day devotional for Made To Crave on the Holy Bible App, I immediately started the plan. The devotional included the story of Esau and Jacob. I was tempted to skim over this particular day’s teaching. In my limited understanding, I couldn’t see how their story had anything to do with why I was constantly running to the pantry. I mean, Esau ate when he was hungry. Isn’t that the #1 diet rule, “Eat when you’re hungry”? Tried that. Didn’t work for me. Moving on… While my flesh was beckoning me to move on, my Spirit was gently prompting me to be still. To receive what God was waiting to show me.

It clicked. I was just like Esau. While Esau traded his birthright, I traded my desire to be healthy and whole. I turned to Doritos and peanut butter instead of the God of all comfort. I’m willing to bet you’re guilty too. You turn to temporary comfort instead of THE comforter. In verse 32, Esau goes on to say, “Look, I’m dying of starvation! What good is my birthright to me now?”  Like you, Esau wasn’t concerned about the future. He was simply focused on the now. What would make him feel good in the moment.

//So, are you like Esau? When it comes to being healthy, are you turning to temporary comfort? What about other areas in your life. Believe it or not, it’s all connected. Leave me a comment below, or email me at teawithtiffanyp@gmail.com, it would be an honor to help you.

Helpful Resources: (Contains Amazon affiliate links)

Made To Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food

Wellness Revelation

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How To Step Out In Faith When You’re Afraid

I had it all and I was miserable

On Sunday evenings, anxiety would build in my chest. My eyes would begin to swell with tears. I’d text a friend, “I don’t wanna go to work tomorrow!” When I first started working at this prestigious engineering company, I had dreams and aspirations of climbing the corporate ladder. I envisioned my picture on the wall, wearing a tailored Brooks Brothers black suit, with “VP of Engineering” underneath. I did everything I was told to do – obtained mentors, volunteered, worked long hours, signed up for additional assignments, made myself visible… I was on track, or so I thought.

The walls of my cubicle were closing in on me. I was bored, unfulfilled, miserable, and unhappy. On the outside, I was #slaying. I drove a BMW, made six figures, wore designer clothes, carried designer bags… But, I was hungry for something money couldn’t buy. I wanted peace and fulfillment. I had a burning desire to impact the lives of women outside of the walls that seemed to be closing in on me. I was wasting time. There were women out there waiting for me. Waiting to hear my testimony. Waiting to hear my words of encouragement. Waiting for me to share my truth. If only I were out there and not here.

God answered my prayers

The opportunity to quit my job and pursue my dreams fell in my lap. Shortly before marrying the man of my prayers, I quit my job.  Now I have all the space and opportunity to do exactly what I want. I’m no longer confined to a desk all day. Nor do I have someone breathing down my neck about deadlines. I traded that for a hungry husband who walks in the door and says, “what’s for dinner?” But I digress. Where were we? Oh yeah… I’m able to be creative, set the tone for my day, and set my own hours. God has also granted me the opportunity to encourage women through this blog. Without being constrained to a bullpen all day, the possibilities are endless. You’d think I’d be off an running, right?

Why is it so hard to move forward?

Fear. It entraps me. You too? When I was sitting in that cubicle, I felt like superwoman. I was ready to break free and slay all the giants in my way. Have you ever asked God for something then when He gives it to you, you shrink back? That’s me. Right here. Right now. I wonder: Do I have what it takes? Am I good enough? Others are doing it so well, should I be doing something else? Maybe I should just go back to engineering…

Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt! Numbers 14:4

We must move forward courageously

Just like the Israelites, I have contemplated going back to the same place I prayed, or better stated BEGGED, God to deliver me from. What’s your Egypt? What in your life is so comfortable that you’re willing to risk your destiny for it? For you it may not be a job, but perhaps it’s an old boyfriend or another toxic relationship.

A few days ago, my husband and I were leaving a wedding ceremony. We were holding hands while walking to the car. When my husband holds my hand, I feel empowered. I feel untouchable. Unstoppable. He makes me feel secure. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world… The next day I was standing in the mirror applying mascara. It’s as if God nudged me and said, “The same strength you feel walking hand in hand with your husband, I want you to feel that way with me. I’m always with you.” That’s good, right?


My dear sisters, God is with you. With Him you’re empowered. Untouchable. Unstoppable. Secure. The luckiest girl in the world! The next time the devil tries to intimidate you with fear, stick your chest out, lift your head high and be encouraged by what your daddy says:

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8


//What’s one thing you’ve been afraid to do? Will you step out in faith and do it afraid? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via email, teawithtiffanyp@gmail.com

To make you feel more comfortable, I’ll go first. For years I’ve done a lot of talking and dreaming about creating workout videos that include God’s word. I’ve been sooooooooooooo scared to put myself out there. Me? On camera? Talking about Jesus? I’m no expert in the scriptures… A few weeks ago I recorded my first video. Lemme just say, it won’t win an Oscar for best picture! But, since we’re stepping out in faith and doing it afraid, what better time than the present? You can find the video here. Though totally imperfect, I pray it blesses you.

Thank you for reading! You can find me online on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

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The Missing Link In Your Health & Fitness Journey

About two years ago, I was a wreck. What I thought should’ve been one of the most satisfying times of my life, wasn’t. I’d just become a professional bodybuilder. A goal I’d devoted myself to for three long years. During those three years, there were two things I thought about most. In fact, I was overly obsessed with ’em. My life. My thoughts. My days. My nights. They all consisted of these two things.

Something was wrong with me. I needed to make some changes; however, I wasn’t ready to let go. My Spirit and my flesh were battling it out! Around this time, I stumbled upon, or better stated, God directed my attention to, a post on Instagram from Revelation Wellness. I went to their website. I browsed their profile. I was drawn to their approach, using fitness as a tool to share the good, gospel message; however, I wasn’t ready to receive it. I brushed it off. That works for them. It wouldn’t work for me… Fitness was my way of manipulating my body. It didn’t have nothing to do with the gospel.

Months passed and my two obsessions were weighing me down. I couldn’t take it any more. I was out of control. I literally felt as if I was going crazy. The way in which I was behaving wasn’t normal. Well, I take that back. Actually, considering the circumstances (not eating enough and exercising way too much), my behavior (binge eating) was normal; however, I wasn’t living in freedom.

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

If you’re like me, you’ve never considered yourself as the thief discussed in this scripture. However, I was (am) the thief. I was allowing my obsession with food and my body to steal, kill, and destroy my freedom, and essentially my joy. While the women of Revelation Wellness weren’t ripped and shredded, promoting six pack abs and hardcore workouts, they were all overflowing with joy. While joy was exactly what I desperately craved, I wasn’t excited to give up the body I’d worked so hard to attain. Hmmmm, joy or the “perfect” body? I was torn.

Whatever is obtained in the flesh, will require the flesh to sustain it. Whatever is obtained by the Spirit, our gracious Father will sustain.

I’d spent many, many years building this body of mine; however, my flesh was failing me. It was growing tired and weary. I knew I wouldn’t be able to maintain this level of fitness and food restriction for a lifetime. I let go. I surrendered. I must be honest with you. It’s an ongoing battle. Surrendering isn’t a one and done type deal. Each day, it’s a lying down of my cross and following The One. Choosing to do things His way. Not my own.

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Apart from God we can do nothing; NO-THING. Yet knowing this, we still embark upon our wellness journey alone. We fail to include God in the process. Instead of seeking Him first. We turn to Google instead. You can continue to search the Google god for the latest and greatest weight loss plans but I guarantee none of ’em will produce lasting results. Jesus is the missing link. Like me, you know how to lose weight. You know whole foods are a better than processed foods. You know exercise is good for you. Knowing all these things, you still don’t do ’em. Why? Because your mind is in need of a transformation. You won’t find that type of transformation online. The Google god ain’t got nothing on our creator God.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

//Have you been trying to lose weight on your own to no avail? Where do you need God’s help? If you feel inclined, please share with me in the comments below, or email me at teawithtiffanyp@gmail.com, I would love to be praying with you.

Helpful Resources: (Contains Amazon affiliate link)

Revelation Wellness

Wellness Revelation

Thank you for reading! You can find me online on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

 

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Help! I Feel Fat!

“I feel fat!” If you’re anything like me, you’ve uttered these three words far more than you care to admit. While we know fat isn’t a feeling, it doesn’t stop us from using it to express emotion. What do we really mean when we say, “I feel fat”? Today I’ll share what I discovered. Perhaps you’ll find, you mean the same thing too.

I became a detective and investigated the causes of “feeling fat”. I uncovered the following scenarios led to this false emotion:

  • Eating an “off limits” food
  • Overeating
  • Weight gain
  • Tight fitting clothes
  • Comparing my body to hers, or a past version of myself
  • Stomach jiggling as the car hits a bump in the road (Yours too?)

When I say “I feel fat,” I really mean, I’m disappointed. Good or bad, consciously or subconsciously, we hold ourselves to unrealistic standards. We somehow convince ourselves that we should be the same size we were in high school. That we should never gain a pound or go up a pant size.  That if we just had more willpower, we wouldn’t overeat. That if we try hard enough, we’ll eventually love kale salads as much as we love cheeseburgers. #lies Unfortunately, when our reality doesn’t match our fantasy, we’re disappointed.

There’s nothing wrong with you. You.are.human! I know… I know.. You already know this but it’s worth elaborating on… Humans gain weight. Humans overeat. Humans have fat on their bodies. Humans grow out of their clothes. Humans compare themselves to other humans. Humans have flesh that jiggles. It’s OK. All these situations are perfectly normal. You are normal.

I only felt fat once in my life… said no one ever. As women, many of us wrestle with “feeling fat” all the time; however you can’t allow your feelings to dictate your identity. Who you are isn’t found in the number on the inside tag of your jeans.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

You know how to lose weight. You know what to eat. What not to eat. How much to eat… Have you ever considered, “If I know all these things, why do I continue to feel stuck no matter what I weigh?” It’s because you haven’t mastered your mind. The battlefield is in your mind, not on a scale. You know a lot about changing the outside but nothing about changing the inside. You can be in the best shape of your life, but if your thoughts don’t change, you’ll never be content. Your thoughts will scream you’re not good enough at a size 22 and a size 2. What will you believe? Can your thoughts be trusted? Are they true? It’s the unchanging truth in God’s word that sets us free from “feeling fat”. He says,

Sisters, what God says about you will never change. When you feel fat and begin to think insecure and ugly thoughts about yourself and your body, take those thoughts captive. Remember how God feels about you–we are free! In our body image struggle, He has already won. In God’s word, there’s perfect peace and great contentment even on the days when we “feel fat”.

Can you relate to anything mentioned in this post? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments below. Don’t feel comfortable writing a public comment? No problem. Email me at teawithtiffanyp@gmail.com. I’ll respond either way. Talk soon!

Helpful Resources: (Contains Amazon affiliate link)

Revelation Wellness

Wellness Revelation

Thank you for reading! You can find me online on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

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Knowing When To Walk Away

Prior to crying myself to sleep that night, I ate uncontrollably. Sure I’d been under eating and over training for months but I wasn’t eating to satisfy hunger. I was eating to fill a void. … It wasn’t food my flesh craved. It craved attention. I wanted to be seen. To be known. To be valued. As I lie in bed, uncomfortably full, I wondered, “How did I get here?” …I’d allowed my own desires to drag me away.

“Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.” James 1:14

One day while scrolling my Facebook timeline, I saw a transformation picture of a college friend. She had the body of a fitness model. “Oooo, I wanna look like that!”, I thought to myself.  If she could transform her body, I could too. I hurriedly sent her a private message. I needed all the deets (details)! I learned that she’d just competed in her first bodybuilding competition where she received a first place trophy. I explained to her that I didn’t care about winning, at least not initially. I was after the body. The abs and muscles would be my trophy. Within hours I was online searching for a bodybuilding coach.

“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.” Exodus 20:4

My body had become my idol (Note: God revealed this truth to me during an 8 week faith based wellness program, now Wellness Revelation). I spent thousands of dollars on coaching, hundreds of dollars on supplements, hours in the kitchen cooking, hours lifting weights, and hours and hours of cardio. Finally! It was show day. I was nervous and excited. I was excited to show off my hard earned work. Surprisingly, I walked away with two first place trophies and an overall win that night. That was a BIG deal! Most competitors don’t place at their first competition. I quickly went from having no expectation of winning to striving to become a professional bodybuilder.

I was totally obsessed with my body and overflowing with pride. In my mind, I was the best! I went into the next competition confident I would leave a professional bodybuilder by securing first place. There was no doubt in my mind. I quickly shelled out a couple more thousand dollars for coaching, flights, a hotel room, tanning, makeup and a photo shoot in preparation for the competition. It wasn’t a big deal because I just knew it would pay off. I would become a professional bodybuilder, obtain endorsements, quit my job, become a fitness model, travel the world, and live happily ever after. … So I thought.

I stood on stage anxiously awaiting my number to be called. It never was. Myself, along with a handful of girls, tied for last place. I was devastated! I cried myself to sleep that night. That night, I made it my mission to prove to those judges I would become a professional bodybuilder. Five competitions, and an emptied savings account later, I finally reached my goal. I was awarded the coveted “pro card.” I expected to be on cloud nine. I wasn’t. I ended up where I started this blog post, lying in bed, uncomfortably full, crying. I cried out to God, “How did I get here? Why did you allow this to happen to me? Where did I go wrong? I was so stupid!”

After earning my pro card, people anticipated I would compete at the professional level. After all, why would anyone subject themselves to everything I’d gone through if I was never going to compete professionally? But, they didn’t know the pact I’d made with God. That night in my dark hotel room, I surrendered. I didn’t want to lead anymore. For two long years, I’d been in the driver’s seat. That night, I pulled over and God returned back to His rightful place, head of my life.

So, how do you know when to walk away?

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

If it doesn’t bring glory and honor to God, it’s time to walk! Point. Blank. Period. That goes for anything in life – friendships, relationships, jobs, etc. My pursuit of becoming a bodybuilder only honored me. I don’t care how many times I posted a picture to social media, showing my abs, with the caption, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” it still wasn’t God.

People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. Proverbs 16:2

All that time, I was searching for something I already had through Christ. I’m known (Psalm 139:1) and I’m a winner (Romans 8:37). Have you been like me, searching for something you already have in Christ?

Most gracious God, thank you for being a wonderful Father who loves us unconditionally. May we come to know, and experience, the glorious gifts we already have in You. Strengthen and empower us by your Spirit to walk away from anything that doesn’t bring glory and honor to You. It’s our desire to please You more than anything in this world. We love You. In Christ name I pray, Amen. 

Have you ever had to walk away from something big? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.

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How To Get The Perfect Body

By day I was #bodygoals, praised by family and friends for being fit. By night I was a tiger on the prowl, ravenously eating everything in sight. I was covered in shame in guilt. I felt dirty. I was living a lie. On the outside it appeared I had it all figured out. On the inside, I was miserable. I cried out to God frequently, “Lord, why can’t you just fix me? Why can’t I just be normal?” The truth is, I wasn’t ready to accept where God was leading. I wasn’t ready to give up on the idea that just maybe I could have it all – an intimate relationship with God, ability to love others well, a healthy relationship with food, and a ripped body. I wanted to be healed. I really did BUT I wanted abs too. My flesh and my Spirit were at war. God had my heart but I was keeping my body to myself.

For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other… Galatians 5:17

Living this double life was taking a toll on me mentally, physically, and emotionally. I was physically exhausted from trying to out train the binge eating. I was mentally and emotionally consumed with all the guilt and shame. When I reached one of my lowest points, God directed me to Revelation Wellness. Revelation Wellness is a non-profit ministry that uses fitness as a tool to spread the gospel message. This ministry offered an 8 week, faith-based wellness program, Weigh Less To Feed More, that taught participants how to live healthy, whole lives in Christ. I purchased the program, and signed up for an instructor facilitated online group. During Weigh Less To Feed More, God showed me that it wasn’t abs I was after. I really just wanted to be loved, appreciated, and valued by others. Mistakenly, I thought a smaller body would grant me those things.

Weigh Less to Feed More has since evolved into a book, Wellness Revelation. When the opportunity presented itself to be part of the book launch team, I didn’t waste any time applying. In fact, I was walking out of the bank when I received the email. I stopped dead in my tracks and didn’t look up again until I’d completed the application. I thought about waiting until I was home to apply so I wouldn’t be limited to the small keypad on my iPhone. I was too anxious, I couldn’t wait. It was extremely hot and humid that day but I stood there. Right where I stopped in my tracks, outside the bank, and pecked away on the iPhone keyboard. When I finally finished, I was a sweaty mess! After being selected as part of the book launch team, I’d say the sweat was worth it. Thank you Jesus!

Stay with me. This is going somewhere; I promise!

After finishing chapter one of the book, I had an aha moment, “This is the formula for the perfect body!” Then I immediately thought of you. I knew I had to share. It was just too juicy to keep to myself. So, that’s exactly what I’m doing today – sharing the formula for a perfect body. Before I jump into that, I must offer you a full disclosure. I was NOT paid to write this blog. I’m blogging about this ministry and book because I firmly believe in ’em. I personally invest in this ministry out of my own pocket. When I believe in something, I invest it. I’ll receive a free copy of the book for being on the book launch team; however, I’ll be giving it away to one of you (details to come). Now that that’s out the way. Let’s get started.

Chapter one is titled, “Embrace God’s Purpose, Desire, and Design. That’s exactly how you get the perfect body, or better yet, how you come to know you were born with the perfect body.

  1. Embrace God’s Purpose:
    • Exodus 9:16, “But I have spared you for this purpose – to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” Alisa Keeton explains God desires to show us His power. Most times, especially when it comes to weight loss, we go about it in our own strength. It becomes a very self-centered endeavor. I’ve definitely experienced this in my own life. When I was competing in bodybuilding competitions, it was all about me. How lean could I really get? How much could I deprive myself? How many hours could I go without eating? I mistakenly thought if I just had enough willpower, I could sustain the most uncomfortable situations and all would be well in my soul. I was wrong. Unlike willpower, God’s strength is an unlimited resource. We’ve got to learn to rely on His strength. The perfect body is one that depends on God’s strength. Not it’s own.
  2. Embrace God’s Desire:
    • 1 Peter 1:16, “For the scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”” God desires for us to be holy. Alisa Keeton shares in the book that the Hebrew word for “holy” means “set apart”. In essence God desires we be set apart from the ways of the world. Again, I could so relate. A few days ago, I was thumbing through the images on my phone because I was almost out of storage. Don’t you hate that? Anyway, I noticed I had A LOT of selfies – mostly standing in front of a mirror, shirt lifted up, showcasing my abs. There was a time, I’d post these pictures on social media for attention. I started to conform to the world’s standards, “Look at ME, ME,ME!” Being set apart means I make the conversation about something other than myself. It doesn’t mean I’m better. I just know God wasn’t calling me to promote myself. As Paul says in Philippians 2:3, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. The perfect body is set apart by God.
  3. Embrace God’s Design:
    • Jeremiah 1:5, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart…” God created each of us. Who knows its creation better than the Creator himself? I’ve been guilty of jumping from diet to diet. Nutrition plan to nutrition plan. Guru to guru. Workout plan to workout plan. I was seeking the opinion of everyone else but God. Those people didn’t know me. Before we were formed in the womb, God created us for a purpose. I realized my obsession with my body was a distraction. It hindered me from uncovering God’s purpose for my life. If I was consumed with me, there would be NO room for He. The perfect body is one that is confident in God’s plan for it.

God loves you. He longs for you to embrace your true identity. If you’re struggling to embrace God’s purpose, desire, and design for your life, I pray that God opens your heart to receive His perfect design. May you come to know, without a doubt, His immense love for you. He’s a good Father who wouldn’t dare withhold anything good thing from you.

If you’ve been struggling with your weight and accepting your body, I encourage you find out more about the book, Wellness Revelation, here.  I must warn you. Like anything else, you get out, what you put in. You must be ready to do the work. If you decide to purchase the book from Amazon, please consider using my affiliate link, here. By doing this, I’ll receive a small commission of the sale, from Amazon, which helps keep my site up and running.

Thank you for reading! You can find me online on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

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