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It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another Meet Me At This Moment for Five Minute Friday post! I spend the last hour of Thursday chatting it up with a group of authentic and inspiring Five Minute Friday bloggers on Twitter (#FiveMinuteFriday #fmfparty). One minute past midnight EST Friday, Lisa-Jo Baker gives us a single word prompt and we all write a blog post centered around that word. We write for five minutes, and five minutes only! In the wjords of Lisa, this is “unscripted. unedited. real.” You meet me at this moment in time…my thoughts and opinions, my joys and sorrows, my dilemmas and dreams. And I receive one of the greatest gifts ever…a regular outlet for processing and expressing my thoughts without constantly editing myself. This is my life, my perspective, unfiltered.

The word of the week is AFRAID. 


I watched them in the gym on Wednesday.

Like robots, walking across the gym floor. One arm up, one leg up. The other arm up, other leg up.

They carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Balls over their heads. Up, down. Up, down. Lunge. Lunge. Balls over heads. Up and over. Up and over. Never letting it go.

Revelation Song played on my iPod.

As they sat, I caught a glimpse of souls.

The woman in red at the end? Full of insecurity. Isolates herself, as if she doesn’t want to be noticed.

And the one with the cute logo on her shirt? A people pleaser. She’s been that way her whole life.

The woman with the perfect braid and the chest that seems too big to be real? She’s all about perfection. Always trying, harder and harder to meet the unattainable standard.

And the woman in green that carries herself as if she’s not so sure? She’s experienced a lot of pain and she hurts. She’s compared herself and she doesn’t meet the standard. She’s a survivor, but she feels inferior.

I crossed paths with this magazine. GQ. For men. Beyonce on the cover. Her body perfect. Seriously, perfect. She had her first baby just a year ago, just a couple weeks before I had my third.

I struggle to take off the three pounds I gained at Christmas, and now an extra pound on top of that, leaving me still seven pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. And this Beyonce? She’s already on the cover making it look all easy and she’s perfect.

The men reading this magazine? They see Beyonce, knowing full well she gave birth last year. Do men, in their heart of hearts, wish we looked like that? And the women who cross paths with these images? Do they see Beyonce, also knowing full well she gave birth last year, and expect themselves to look just as perfect? Even though it’s near impossibility?

To carry the weight of the world on our shoulders is a burden too heavy to bear. I’m afraid we can’t live up to your standard, GQ. For Beyonce probably has a personal chef and a personal trainer and a nanny that helps care for her child every day, and a butler and a maid who tend to every whim.

I must ignore these images of perfection, because they are not real. Women bearing the weight of the world are full of insecurity, inferiority. They want to please, they want to perfect. And it’s not going to happen. We can’t be perfect. We aren’t perfect. So stop making us afraid.

There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 1 Corinthians 15:40 


It is my joy to introduce you to Anne! If I were to name someone the Godmother of my blog, it would be Anne. She embodies everything I want this blog to be about.

I have been taking Anne’s cardio kickboxing class at Lifetime Fitness for six years. Being a group fitness junkie, I have tried almost every class that exists at two nearby Lifetime Fitness clubs. There is just ONE class, ONE instructor that has managed to keep me inspired and motivated to come for SIX. WHOLE. YEARS. Anne.

Let me tell you about Anne…

Anne is a master teacher.

Anne understands people.

Anne motivates.

Anne has a good sense of humor.

Anne exudes excellence.

Anne is quietly confident.

Anne has energy that anyone would admire.

Anne gives it her all.

Anne inspires.

Anne is disciplined.

Anne is a role model.

Anne encourages.

Anne reminds us that we are strong.

Anne stretches us and pushes us to our limits.

When I first started taking Anne’s kickboxing class, we met in a large studio. Given Anne’s master teaching abilities, it was not at all surprising that the studio became notably overcrowded. Management moved our class to the gym and it seemed the class quadrupled in size overnight. Now, it appears there are 100-200 people in attendance every week.

Let’s take this a step further….

Yes, Anne is a master teacher, as evidenced by the list of personal attributes above. What is it, though, that she taps into that makes so many people want to attend her classes? What is it that this one man experiences simply watching Anne’s class every week while on the treadmill? What is it about Anne’s heart and specific giftedness that keeps people coming back for more?

I am deeply curious as to why so many people come to Anne’s classes, and I am even more curious as to why they keep coming back week after week, year after year. It is impractical for me to interview every person to gain more insight as to the why, so all I can do is offer some personal insight.

First and foremost, Anne is the only person in my life who has been able to get me to the point where I am so focused I am able to completely zone out everything except what I am physically doing with my body. I am constantly thinking. Anne manages to help me stop thinking and overthinking, even if it is just for one hour each week. Anne reminds me that I can do great things. She reminds me that I can do anything. Anne motivates me and makes me want to be a better person. Anne makes me want to go harder, go faster, go longer. She pushes me to the limits of my physical self, yet somehow I miraculously feel the most awesome and alive I’ve ever felt reaching those extreme limits. She reminds me that it is good to take care of myself. Anne is so reliably excellent that even in the midst of life’s deepest pain and hardships, I can go to her class knowing without a doubt I will feel better when I leave.

Last, but not least, Anne reminds me that it is not all about me. It is about offering ourselves, it is about using our gifts to bring joy into others’ lives. Every week at the end of class Anne reminds us to “spread the joy.” Anne, I promise I will do my best to spread the joy. Thank you, Anne, for the deep joy you have brought into my life.

Today I challenge and encourage you…

What are you doing to strengthen your body, to nourish your soul, to push yourself to the outer limits?

What special giftedness did God create in you that others can’t help but notice?

How are you spreading the joy?

Is there someone you feel compelled to mentor, to love a little more, to spend time digging a little deeper with on a regular basis?

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 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. Romans 12:1-2


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