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Hit The Refresh Button: Remember Your Mission – With Just Me, Tamra Andress

We always have a choice of mindset.

We always have an option of perspective.

As the very wise Brene Brown has taught me; We always have the ability to change the story we’re telling ourselves.

Ultimately, we always have the power to down shift and reset. Yet, we’re mostly a society running on E, wondering why our engines are coming to a screeching halt.

Refresh Time

I’ve been the broken down engine needing a jump, in a Jesus take the wheel kind of scenario. But as I’ve learned the power of a sound mind, I’ve found that the mental adjustment applies even to the dimmest scenarios.

I’ve chosen to see the world not from the depression but the Renaissance. The well springs popping up. The newness. The life. It’s been an ironic flip of the script in so many areas of my life. Relationships, finances, mental and physical situation, churches, people – and it’s amazing because there are so many others also living in this new space of contentment – eager for more.

And when I think back on the story line of my testimony it’s truly the continuous silver lining of my life altering come to Jesus season and the link to how my ministry blossomed — honestly its the reason I’m alive.

Today’s podcast is a bit different. I’m not sharing with one other woman, I’m sharing with 60 at a women’s brunch in. When I heard the topic of the morning I knew it was a God wink in and of itself to discover this parallel.

Come, listen…be refreshed.

SHOW NOTES:

Tamra: We always have a choice of mindset, always have an option of perspective. As the very wise, Brené Brown has taught me, and we always had the ability to change the story we’re telling ourselves. Ultimately, we always have the power to downshift and reset yet we’re mostly a society running on E wondering why our engines are coming to a screeching halt. I’ve been the broken-down engine needing a jump in a Jesus take the wheel kind of situation. But as I’ve learned the power of a sound mind, I found the mental adjustment applies even to the dimmest scenario. I’ve chosen to see the world, not from the depression but the renaissance, the [inaudible 00:41] popping up, the newness the life.

It’s been an ironic flip of the script in so many areas of my life and it’s been so exhilarating to see as my shift has happened that others are also shifting in the same capacity, moving in this new space of contentment even more. And when I think back on the storyline of my testimony, it’s truly the continuous silver lining of my life-altering come to Jesus the season and the link to how this ministry has blossomed. Honestly, it’s the reason I’m alive. Today’s podcast is a bit different. I’m not sharing with just one other person; I’m sharing with 60 women at a bruncheon. When I heard the topic of the morning, I knew it was a God wink and of itself because of the discovered parallel, come listen and be fresh.

And also just coming in visiting Greenbrier when I’ve come and Anthony spoke and being alongside the session family, we were here a lot of them beginning, and you might’ve seen my little rascals running around one specifically with hair, like down here and just turned six, and we were just talking about Cooper. He’s a vivacious little guy and totally a part of my constant refreshment as a mother, if you know what it’s like to have rambunctious children, you know, that you need that constant… you’re constantly at the feet of Jesus. And then my other little, my little gal who would be here and you wouldn’t hear a word from her, but she just sits in her subtle little silence, Waverly she’s been such a blessing for my life as well and a part of the reason that I’m alive, honestly.

So, before I get started and share more about the God Wink of Refreshment, I’d love to just pray because that always brings me back to center and out of the nerves that I always feel. God, I thank you so much for this amazing time. I pray for these women and this season in their lives of refreshment Lord, I pray that it’s not just something that’s taking on an internal refreshment for their life, God, but it’s something that’s happening within this church and it’s abundantly happening within our region and our communities. And I just pray for your refreshment. I pray for your replenishment and your restoration and your revival. God that I know that it is so easily assessable for us to have you and to feel you and to sense you and to know you, God, I thank you for the refreshment on my own life and for my ability to be here today, sharing that, God, I just pray that it’s a testimony with your name all over it, it has nothing to do with me, God, but instead for your kingdom in your precious name, I pray. Amen.

So, the God Wink of Refreshment. So, obviously, as she mentioned I’m beach babe, I am a sun chaser, but as I’ve gotten older and know the importance of sunscreen and a hat, but I just love that refreshment it’s summertime, so, I immediately think of being quenched in your thirst. I carry this water bottle with me everywhere. It’s probably not the most… and as she said, organic nice thing for the environment, but it makes me drink my water and if you know anything about water intake, we should be drinking half of our body weight per day in ounces. So, this is a little bit more than that it’s 50 and if I can do it twice a day, then I’m above the game and I’m an achiever, an achiever in Enneagram three.

Does anybody know about Enneagrams? Raise your hand No? Oh yes. We are going to take an Enneagram test at our next retreat because this is like, so life-giving write this down. Enneagram, E N N E G R A M. There are tons of free resources online it’s kind of like personality tests that you might’ve taken within your corporation called the Myers-Brigg. Everyone’s kind of familiar with that, but this one, it gives you way more insight and it also shares like your relational dynamic, whether it’s in your marriage Enneagram of how you parent, it’s how you receive love, how you give love. So, really amazing that has nothing to do with what I’m talking about today, but make sure you do it, it’s awesome. We can talk about it later.

Speaker: Can you spell it one more time?

Tamra: Sure. E N N E G R A M.

Speaker: Okay, I think I [inaudible 05:55]

Tamra: It’s okay. Enneagram. It’s amazing. And there’s like, if you’re on social media or Facebook or any of that, once you do it once it’ll follow you and you’ll get told about yourself all the time and it’s a really good self-checkup. Oh yeah, that’s why I took offense to that situation. Let me come back into Jesus another time because all of us are created differently and under his beautiful umbrella of love, but we have allowed the world to take ownership of who we are and I love that this specific test brings you back into your root identity which is something I want to talk about specifically today. So, beyond just it being the time of year for freshmen like I said, in my prayer, I really believe that God is moving in a huge way within our community and within our region.

Morgan and Anthony are currently visiting Susan’s daughter, Allie all the way in Colorado. And so, it’s making me know that the heart of God is stirring in his daughters and it’s stirring in his men but specifically I’ve seen this revival just embers being blown on right now. And if you haven’t ever heard of Hot and Holy it’s another women’s ministry that is taking root in the Virginia Beach area. But women from a magnitude of generation and churches are coming together on a monthly basis to just worshiped Jesus. And there’s no pastor, there’s no pulpit, it’s a space for us to just come and be refreshed and revived so something also for you to look into. And then additionally, like I said, the main correlation of refreshment in my life, and I’m going share as I go through eight concepts of ways for you to tangibly refresh what my testimony is and how I’m here in front of you today.

And again, just so grateful for the opportunity, so thank you. So, it says in Zachariah 13:01 when God reestablishes his kingdom on earth, he will provide a fountain to be opened for spiritual cleansing. And I think so often we focus on words in the Bible that say what is to come or what has happened. But I think it’s so important for us to remain balanced right now and who we are and who God has gifted us for such a time as this. Right? We hear that all the time, but what does that mean? And how can we take ownership and where we are today while also knowing and remaining hopeful and faithful for what’s to come. And so, today I want you to know that refreshment is assessable right now, and I want to give you tangible ways of how I grasped hold of that in my own life.

So, there’s eight of them. I know Pastor Anthony gets three and he usually gets through one because that’s Pastor Anthony, but I am going to get through eight. So, I’m determined because there are such amazing lessons in my life and hopefully you guys can follow along. So, the first one and you’ll see a theme and it was funny, right? When I walked to the door, it was another God wink because you have redeemed, restore, and…

Audience: Resource.

Tamra: Resource at the bottom, and that’s literally along the lines of what I’m doing so your church is already in line with refreshment on a consistent basis. So, the first one is to realign, and she mentioned the retreat that I have coming up in the fall, this is going to be a really intimate experience. We’re going to have an oceanfront stay down in San Bridge Beach and there are people from therapists to personal trainers, to nutritionists, to chefs that are going to be alongside us and worship leaders who travel the world to worship. And so, it’s a really incredible opportunity for people to come and be refreshed and restored. But the importance of it is this mind, body, and soul concept.

When I came into my come to Jesus moment, if you will, or my rock bottom simultaneously, I was really all over the place and I wasn’t even really consciously aware of it. It was a subconscious situation and kind of the perfect storm. And I feel like a lot of times people they’re shameful of their rock bottom, and it becomes a place that you can’t get out of. It becomes a pit, it becomes a hole that continually sucks you back to that space of I’m not good enough, I’m not worthy. And God wants us to completely remiss that because that’s not what he sees you as that’s not how he claims your identity. And so, for us to claim our own identity in this space of realignment is so important.

So, the mind, you hear mental health all the time, I think May was mental health month, and now it’s becoming commonplace to hear about it. But I feel like, for generations, many generations, it was a space of shame. It was a space of, don’t talk about that, it’s okay that you feel that way, and this is what you’re going through, but nobody needs to know about your depression or your anxiety. And now it becomes a place that people can be authentic and be vulnerable. And I’m so thankful for that and I believe it’s a hand and how God is restoring and refreshing his daughters is to give us a space to say, I’ve dealt with this. So yes, I’ve dealt with depression. Yes. I’ve dealt with burnout, I’ve dealt with mental health issues, I’ve dealt with suicidal thoughts to the point where I was in the middle of the night convulsing and my husband would have to hold me tightly to stop me from the fear that was just constantly being cycled in my mind. And it was because of my mental health space.

I was… I told you, my Enneagram being an achiever, that was not just something that society pushed on me, it was something that I felt within my home since I was little. It was the way that I was praised, it was the way that I felt glorified because if I could make this happen, then mom and dad dote on me to everyone, right? And the family sees like, oh, that other, child is dealing with this, but look at this one. And so I was constantly on this space of a pedestal when I was little and it continued on into my high school years and at that point, I realized in retrospect to many years later, that that was something I created myself as well. And I think it’s a good reminder for us when we are in that place of brokenness and that place of shame, we can so easily point at everybody else that got you to that space.

And I went through a time where I was really angry with my parents and something that I really had to restore that relationship and refresh myself and come into alignment with the whole person that I know God wanted me to be, but the person that I wasn’t achieving to be because I was so focused on this perfectionism. And so, the mental health piece is so important and then the body health space. I grew up a gymnast, a dancer, and a part of that and so I was in the gym for 16 hours a week as early as seven years old and I love that. I’m super flexible now I can put it into my kids, and we can run and jump, and it makes me really agile, but it also made me very body-conscious and very image-focused. And as I grew when I got into high school, I quit competitive gym and I remember my grandmother telling me that I looked like I had put on weight. And that’s a really hard thing to hear when you’re a 14-year-old, a teenager and I can’t even imagine what they experienced now with the front of social media and what they see on a consistent basis.

So, just to hear that and be with my own thoughts and my own, visuals of going to school with different people, it was a really hard thing to do. And then you hear about gaining the freshman 15 when you go into college and I was determined that I would not do that and in hindsight, I actually did the opposite. Not really realizing it, but I didn’t have a car at the time as a freshman in college, you don’t often. And so I was going to school in JMU and walking everywhere so, it wasn’t that I was doing anything unhealthy, I was actually probably doing something great for my body, but I took it and I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m losing weight. And that is such a place that we sit in as women, this image of, I need to be the best version of myself, and this is the ideal weight that’s going to get me there and I don’t believe in that. And there’s so much more, God sees us so much more than the scale so throw those out, threw them away I don’t believe in them, don’t believe in diets and if you come to the retreat, we’ll talk more about unpacking what that means.

But it’s all a fad at this point and I hate that body image is a fad. So, I’d love to talk to you about that at some point, but I want to continue on with the realignment of the soul. And that’s obviously where we come into vertical alignment with our father and I know that many of us, myself included have father issues of some capacity. They weren’t there, they were there too much, they coddled you, they told you, you weren’t good enough, whatever it is, they struggled. We all struggle, we all have our own problems, our own demons. And I’ve seen that unfold in my father’s life who is an I’d say, an active present father, but an inactive voice and an inactive companion and so, coming into understanding who a father was as a God was really hard for me.

And something that I still struggle with, but I now see myself like sitting in his lap. Once I became a mom, it was so much easier for me to grasp hold of God, the father watching my husband, father my children in such an adoring loving way. And so, I’m just really grateful that God gives us those winks along the way that makes us realize that he is all of the things that he promises. So, I would love to talk to you more about the mind, body, soul, that’s the whole concept of the retreat. But another way that you can replenish is… or refresh is to replenish. So, we’ve got realign, the next is to replenish. And I love the story in Luke of Mary and Martha.

And I feel like we are in a society of Martha’s. We have these expectations that we have to do and we have to be, and we have to have the meal all prepped and we have to have the house all clean and we can’t have people over heaven forbid if they see something’s dirty or the floor is not clean. And we’re constantly doing, doing, doing with the expectation of perfectionism for others, whether you call it perfectionism or not, it’s your own form of perfectionism. And here, Martha and Mary are both preparing for Jesus in the way that they think is best. And I am absolutely a Martha, I own it to this day. If you come to my house, you’d be like, dang, how’d she put all that together? I thought she has two toddlers. Well, I just like it. I love it’s a way that I shower people with my love.

And I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with being a Martha, but there’s so much goodness of also being a Mary. And so, Jesus comes to their door in Luke, and he says, he’s like, come and be with me. And he sits on the couch, I’m imagining this visual of my own living room, and Mary sits at his feet and whether they’re talking or conversating, we don’t really know, but I can just see her in adoration, in him and adoration towards her just being with him, just spending that quality time. And Martha is readying the refreshments and she’s getting the meal ready and she’s getting the table and the best linens and she’s getting ready so that she can just be in front of Jesus. And she says specifically she talks to about how Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made and she came to him and asked Lord don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself, tell her to help me, I get that.

And he says Martha, Martha, Martha, the Lord answered you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her. So, I encourage you to replenish, to find the space and the time to take joy breaks in your day. And I say that because I know we’re really busy and we live in a rat race society, and I’m calling you, he’s calling you off the wheel to take a break to replenish with him. He will do so by opening the word, he will do so by listening to worship music and there are so many ways that we can do that. And the next thing that I want to add to that is to be restored. So, the third one to restore, and I talked a bit about the body concept, but when I talk about diet here, I’m not talking about what you eat, though that is very important as well.

I’m talking about the things you listen to, the things that we are consuming with our eyes, the things that we’re consuming with our ears, and the things that we’re consuming and then regurgitating via mouth. It says in the Bible in so many different ways, that music is a place of refreshment. And you hear when the harp is sung over David and he is refreshed and you hear about the choirs and the songs that are saying, and the worship that is meant to restore us. And yet, so often we’re listening to top 100 and we’re listening to… what I like to go to his country. And so, thank you, Hank Williams. And so, listening to country music used to be kind of my go-to, I didn’t think anything of it. I actually thought it was healthy, the best healthy option besides Christian music, but I wasn’t walking with the Lord at that time.

And when I came into my space of restoration and refreshment, I realized that I needed to turn it off. I needed to turn off all of the things that were causing me mental breakdown essentially and also pouring into that body-conscious image. If you’re listening to something other than country, pretty much anything you turn on is talking about the woman’s body and our femininity and our sex. And those things are not important, those things are not how God sees us as women. And while he gifted us, our bodies and he gifted us, our feminine space and spirit, he didn’t do so with how the society has twisted it. We’re not meant to be objects; we’re meant to be objects that are adored and that was a really big thing for me to break free of. So, I turned off all other sounds, other than worship music.

So I turned off the secular world, I didn’t watch TV, I turned off Netflix and if you hear of Netflix and chill, raise your hand if you’ve heard that, maybe just some of the… okay, so that’s like a thing, people like own this Netflix and chill. I said it in church at one point. And I found out later from Pastor Anthony, Tamra, chill does not mean like prop your feet up and have a glass of wine, it actually means to have intercourse, so, you’re Netflix and chilling, right? Like that’s what you do. And I was like, oh, that makes sense, I won’t say that anymore. So just don’t use it. Don’t say I Netflix and chill with anyone because it’s inappropriate.

But we’re here and we’re among women who get it. And so, my concept of chill was to relax and so, I had no idea. I’m like, okay, I’ll put my feet up. No, it’s not that it’s a college participating experience. Do you want to Netflix and chill at 3:00 AM? No, you do not. So, I learned some interesting information recently about some shows that people are becoming addicted to. And I was an avid bachelor, bachelorette watcher, that was my thing. And my husband would watch it with me because he knew it made me happy and we would have a glass of wine and…

Speaker: You would chill?

Tamra: Oh, we would chill. And I would fantasize about the amazing places that we were around the world. I know it’s true. We had babies probably after bachelor, bachelorette, I don’t really know. But it was just we’re fueling our minds with things that are really painful and you don’t realize it because it’s seemingly healthy. But then what does that turn into? It turns into concepts of gossip. She did, she did, could you believe she said that because you believe she was wearing that. And so, you’re, you’re saying all of these things that are negative and not after the heart of the father. The one that has really become known and I’ve never watched a single second so I can’t speak to it from that perspective, but I know what it’s doing to society is Game of Thrones. Have you seen it?

This is such a good wholesome church. You guys are awesome. Well, if you…

Speaker: [Inaudible 21:47]

Tamra: Okay, well, yeah, no, I cannot believe it’s okay if you have seen it. Thank you, thank you. Well, I found out recently through a ministry, called the Safe House Project who is making and creating houses for kids, specifically women between the ages of nine and 21 across the nation in regards to sex trafficking, to find out that the average age of a sex traffic child is 12 to find out that they’ve seen cases as early as 18 months and three years old. To hear that we’re the 15th largest city in the world for sex trafficking, the city of Hampton Roads.

Speaker: Wow.

Tamra: To hear that 64% of the people who are trafficked actually know and trust the person who traffics them. So, you’re not being picked up off the side of the street and abducted, that’s actually only 1% of the sex trafficking community. 300,000 are sex trafficked every year and of them only about a thousand are saved. And so, this obviously as women became really close to my heart really quickly. And when she was having the conversation, she shared that the reason that this is happening so abundantly and the number, the two top times in our country that kids are sex trafficked is the Republican and the Democratic National Conventions and the Super Bowl. And those are supposed to be awesome, those are supposed to be safe, those are supposed to be things that our community celebrates and yet this is happening behind the lens of what we often hear about and see.

And so, they said that the problem is the porn industry. And that porn is the problem in the sense that it is being consumed so heavily, that when the Game of Thrones came out, 15% of the soft-porn industry went down because people are now turning to of Thrones for that vice and it’s socially acceptable. And so, they don’t have to be shameful for what they’re doing behind their wife’s back. They don’t have to be fearful of, oh my gosh, they’re going to walk in on you watching this it’s being consumed and the moment the show turns off, bop, right back to that. So then soft porn leads to harder porn leads to more destructive behavior, which then they need a vice that leads to sex trafficking. So, it’s been documented that this is the problem, and this is how it is starting. And so stop fueling yourself, stop allowing your husbands to fuel themselves with things that are subconsciously happening without… they’re probably like, I don’t imagine and I pray that those people aren’t watching it with that in mind, but what’s to come.

Same with the country music. So, after I went through my year of secular music depletion, I was sitting by the pool, my summer chasing self and I’m like, let’s put on some country music. I feel healthy, I feel whole right now and I feel like I’m okay to listen to something else because there are other people around and they might not always just want to listen to my worship music. And I started listening to some of my favorite songs and reciting the words and, oh my gosh, that’s really inappropriate. That’s really sad. That’s really unfortunate that as a 12, 13, 14, 21, 26 years old, I’m going to these concerts, I’m reciting these words and then I’m putting them into action in some way or another, whether you believe that you are not. So, I just really, really would challenge you in your refreshment to not hydrate with the things that the world is hydrating with, hydrate with Jesus, hydrate with the living water, not with all of the other things that we can put into our body.

You know soda is an epidemic in and of itself and I hate to preach this at you again but go for it. It’s amazing, it restores you in such a way and gives such energy. And so, in Isaiah, he describes a refreshed earth becoming like the garden of Eden. And I have sat in my own garden admiring so many other people’s gardens. If you hear keeping up with the Joneses, and that was a part of my own destruction, we had the best cars, we were the youngest in the neighborhood, I was a CEO of two different companies in my twenties and I thought I was up here. I had two beautiful babies, a boy and a girl picture-perfect, right? Had a hot hubby who never had a shirt on, So the neighbors were like, oh yeah, he’s great. And I just thought I had it all.

And I realized when my children started turning to daddy for their needs, I realized when I was so exhausted, and my children were getting the brunt end of my day. I realized when I was just stuck in what I felt like muck and mire and I was on the rat wheel with everybody else. And when I had a conversation with my husband on it’s, either me or it’s all of these other things. I realized that he was, they were what I was made for and created for. And I was not, it’s not like my other option was healthy, my other option was burnout to the extreme. I dealt with it, but in such a different way, I could have been divorced, I could have been without my babies, I could have been in a place of allowing myself to be an object for other people and instead, I became an object of Jesus. And I remember the very moment, my life has a lot of storms in them and I’ll tell them about to you and other time, but one of which was during my last baptism, alongside my husband in Virginia Beach, we were just talking about that Kim with the session was alongside me.

And I remember in this conversation, I call her my fairy godmother, she’s really my spiritual mom, second mama, she married Gary and me. Four years into our marriage watching the storm change instantly. I remember feeling the burden released off of my shoulders. I remember my husband saying, you look like an angel is carrying you right now, and it doesn’t happen instantaneously. I want to tell you that I want to reassure you that all of these fixes, they don’t happen, it’s not a quick fix, it’s not an overnight, it’s a constant pursuit. He pursues you just as you pursue him. So, know that the sun and the storm they work synonymously.

He is okay with you in this storm because he harnesses you in his safety and his embrace but at the very same time, he is ready for you to be standing in the light. And because that light isn’t meant for you, it’s meant to shine. And my word is, illuminate. I love to illuminate your life. I want to see the gifts and the passions and the things that are inside you come to life in such a way that it came to life in my own life. And he uses all of the muck and mire in such a way because he uses all things for goodness that it becomes the restoration point for somebody else’s healing. And so, I just want you to feel, and in your restoration that you can be authentic in that, we were just talking about that, that it’s okay to release and let go and not have on the pretty mask.

And that you can be restored that the grass is not greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it. So, pick up the watering can and, and grow yourself. It’s not for you, it’s for your babies, it’s for your spouse, it’s for your loved ones, it’s for your family, it’s for your community of women and the community that you call home. So, the next one is to retouch and I have no idea where I am on time, so just go when I’m ready and I’m going to run through the last date because I promised, the next thing is to retouch. And what that is and means to me is this concept of a filtered society. And it kind of goes into that perfectionism. We’re so used to seeing what everybody’s highlight reels are. And I know Anthony has talked about that because it’s something we’ve walked through alongside each other.

And last it really hit me and I’ve been stewing over what I wanted to share with you guys for a few weeks. And I was painting a door, which I found remnants of on my hands this morning. And I was thinking about this concept of refresh and again, another God wink, I kind of chuckled with him in the moment, and I’m painting this yellow grimy well-watered stained door that had never been painted before. And it’s in the little house, the little shed that we just moved, Anthony and Morgan moved into our old home and we moved into my mother-in-law’s house. That’s another experience I’ll share with you later. And I am painting this store, this my favorite blue, crystal blue color. And I’m thinking about the fact that the new guests that are going to come over on Sunday nights for sessions are never going to know what the color was before.

They’re never going to see the fullness of the stains. They’re never going to know what the intended color was of the door when it was purchased. All they’re going to see is this beautiful blue color, perfectly painted and it is our job to share about the stains. It is our job to get to the place of self-identity and self-peace and self-worth that says, this is who I was, but this is who God made me. I am crystal blue, I am dressed and robed in white, regardless of what I felt like I was three years ago. I felt like my bridal dress that I dreamed about since I was little, was completely stain and I didn’t think that there was a restoration in my marriage, I didn’t think that I could own that ever again. I remember so eagerly wanting to put that dress on and I will soon enough when we renew our vows someday down the road, I don’t need a dress to prove to me that I’m washed white.

Our father does that in such a beautiful, abundant way that your husband or your soon to be husband or your ex-husband or your future husband, is going to say, wow, she looks amazing. And I could be wearing a black dress because it’s abundant, it comes out of your eyes, it seeps out of your pores when he restores you when he replenishes you and he refreshes you when he retouches your life. And so, there’s this app it’s called the Beauty App, I was stumbled upon in the time that I was in my refreshing, and I really want you to know that this is a constant, right? We are constantly refreshing, but really within this year and a half timeframe where I was just on my knees consistently as Mary. And you take a picture, you selfie, if you will, or you can take a picture of something else and it really touches every wrinkle, every breakout, every pimple, every scar, every freckle. It takes away my freckles.

Why would we want that? Why is our society so prone to retouching our hearts? The differentiating factor that God made you, you, the life that you’ve lived, those wrinkles,  girl, you wear those with pride, those stretch marks let go, God made you. He gifted us, such a special thing as a woman and yet we hinder it. We put on a front, we paint the door blue, and we don’t tell anybody about what color it was before. Because it doesn’t, it looks great? Right? You get to the body type, the body size, the figure that you’ve always wanted. Don’t I look great? And you don’t tell where you were, you don’t tell how you get there, you don’t tell the hard work that is put in to get there. You’re so skinny. Well, I work out at four 30 in the morning before my kids wake up, I drink a hundred ounces of water and I forced myself to do it even against my will when I don’t want to because I know what it does for me the next day.

I know what it feels like to be dehydrated. And you all know what it feels like to be dehydrated. It is not fun, there’s heat exhaustion there, you’re going to pass out, your body needs it. And I’m not just talking about this water right here, this is important, yes, but your body needs Jesus. It’s a vessel, it’s a gift from him and yet we constantly destroy it with what we put inside of our bodies. So, I just pray for you to just own that concept of retouch. Let God retouch you, don’t let the world do it because they will and they’ll take hold of it, and then you’ll be again, back where you were before. So, the next thing is to refocus and this one is really important because I really think it touches on all of them as well but the mental health space specifically.

I, and we, I know constantly tell ourselves lies and we hear this a lot. There’s been a lot of Rachel Hollis. Who’s listened to Rachel Hollis or read her books? No, God, you guys are awesome, you got to write her down she’s amazing. And also, Brené Brown, any Brené Brown people? Okay. Well, yeah, I’m going to sound brilliant right now, but I’m just feeling what they did but there is this concept from Steven Furtick. How about Steven Furtick? Pastor.

Speaker: Yeah.

Tamra: Yea?  Okay. Write him down too, he’s just in Charlotte. Go visit his church Elevation Worship, anybody? Okay, I love this, write it all down. He did a sermon series called Crash the Chatterbox that changed my life. Changed my mental capacity to stop telling myself lies, to stop coming up with stories of what somebody else is perceiving my life to look like about how they conversate about me behind my back. I was doing this to myself, we all do it. You have a conversation with someone you’re smiling you’re or you’re crying and then you walk away and you’re like, they probably think I’m a mess. They probably think I’m not good enough.

They probably think I’m a horrible mom. They probably think because I pursue time here that I am not giving to my husband. They probably perceive that I am all put together all the time, yet I cried five hours the time before that, they just didn’t see it because of myself selfie retouched filtered photo. So, I am telling you to refocus, I’m telling you to quiet your mind because your chatterbox that happens within is the enemy. And he will take hold of that fear, he will take hold of that doubt, he will take hold of that lie and he will run with it. I struggle with nightmares because I think that’s the only time I stop and the enemy is like, thank God she’s not moving, let’s go.

Because I will go. I’ll go all day long and I will immerse myself with women like you and in spaces that I know I’m shedding my light because my eyes are open and that’s my job but there was a time that, that was not the forefront of my thoughts. I’m thinking about how I can please, I’m thinking about how I can achieve and meet the next goal and have the next perfect photo. And so, my mind was constantly running about what other people thought of me. And at the end of the day, they’re not the ones in front of the mirror. And I had Anthony on one of my first podcast and the title of it was The Mirror moment, because I think we all have them probably more often than we’re willing to admit, but it’s the end of the day, you’re exhausted, your makeup is off or maybe like I used to never take my makeup off, and now I know it’s important, thank you for the wisdom women, that I would sit there and I would just cry.

And there was a season of my life after coming to Jesus, after coming to Jesus, that for one month I brushed my teeth in my bedroom where there were no mirrors. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I didn’t feel worthy enough, I didn’t feel beautiful, it didn’t matter how much makeup I put on, didn’t matter what best outfit I was wearing, didn’t matter what filter was on the photo. I was so broken, I didn’t know who I was, I couldn’t even go to my husband to say, who am I? Because he really wasn’t sure either, I couldn’t go to my kids because they were unable to speak, they were so little at that time. And I just remember crying and brushing my teeth and thinking, this is all I have the energy for today.

And so, I want you to be encouraged that you don’t always have to have it all together. There will be seasons of your life that you feel like I am a mess and they might see that you’re a mess too. But if they’re judging you, they need to be pointing the finger this way because they’ve missed it. Instead of locking arms with you, instead of picking you up, instead of holding you, instead of coming to you and holding your hand and saying you are not alone and you are beautiful with all your purple in your hair, I got my pink last week, and you are loved. And nobody else’s opinion of you matters. Even if they are your husband, even if they are your kids, even if they are the people who have always thought that you were just perfect, you are just perfect and that’s all that matters.

So, I just want you to be encouraged in that. I think it’s so important for us to, as women encourage one, another girl, you look good today, I like it and I love your freckles. I don’t think anybody else in the whole world has freckles just like you. And we need to encourage people in that beauty because that’s probably the exact thing that they’re self-conscious about. I had a cousin who had freckles like that in Indiana, who I get the joy of going to marry one of them next week, it will be my first time marrying someone and bringing somebody into matrimony into a space that I once was broken in and now have restoration in and refreshing, I mean, I can only thank God for that. That is just a blessing in and of itself. But her freckles, since she was little, she always said, I want your freckles, not my freckles. I want your freckles, not my freckles.

And I was just like, Carly, your freckles are rad, they’re huge. I don’t even understand how they’re there. And so, and it was like not a sudden thing, it was just like God thing. And today in her twenties, it’s one of her favorite attributes. And so, why do we want what other people have? We want their grass, but their grass is also wilted, their grass also has weeds. They just have the pretty pansies that were just freshly bloomed in the front yard and you can’t see past the color.

Stop admiring the things that you already have; you already have that. So, next is to reinvest. And this one is really important and something that is kind of comical that I’m talking about because I have never really loved the CFO position. I was CEO for a reason and I had a CFO for a reason and I was like, you handle all this, here’s the money, make sure it’s managed, we’ll be good to go. I also did the same thing with my household income or my household bills or budget or any of the above. I put that all on my husband, I didn’t think it was important.

He said he got it, he got it. I have the car, I’ve got the gas, I’ve got the food, I’ve got the home, I’ve got the clothes, I don’t need to worry because he’s got it. Meanwhile, it was burdening the crap, excuse my language out of him. He was carrying this heavy weight and I had no idea because I didn’t ask. And even when we had budget conversations, like where can I hold back on? Like, okay, let’s not go out to eat as much here, I still swipe the card because I didn’t know. I didn’t have cash on me, I never even knew the pin numbers to any of my bank accounts. This is the first time I’m saying that out loud, I didn’t know.

And so, I couldn’t tell you if I was broke, I couldn’t tell you if I was rich, I have no idea. I’m just living life right on that rat raced wheel of what other people looking in saw as abundance. Meanwhile, we are pouring thousands of dollars into therapy for me to not be mentally broken for my children, for our marriage to be restored and I want to say right now, ask for help because it’s okay to ask for help. We can’t do it alone, we won’t do it alone, we need help. That’s why God places, sisters in our lives, and gifting of other women in our lives and CFOs in our lives to tell you, hey, we need to take control of this. And so, I’ve got friends in my life now who pointed at me all the time and be like, is that the right thing? Should you be ordering that meal? Even though you just told me yesterday, you wanted to go on a diet. Should you be spending money on that new outfit when you could just come to my closet and borrow my clothes? Is it really necessary?

So, I want you to self-check yourself, but I also want you to have an accountability partner when you’re re-investing yourself in your identity, in the reclaimed identity that God has given you, he doesn’t want you to think that you can manage it all. You can’t manage it. All my husband could not manage it all if he tried. He’s operating a company that’s expecting thousands of dollars a week just in payroll, trying to manage all their lives because if you know what it’s like to have an employee then you understand that it’s not easy, and yet I’m just sitting there live in life. And so, it is something that’s so important to me, for you to be aware of the mindset that you take towards money and the mindset that you take towards the things that you’re investing in. And money isn’t all that we need to invest in it’s the time.

Where are you spending your time? Are you watching? Are you Netflix and chilling? Are you going to all the coffee shops doing all the things? I recently heard of a guy who wrote a recent book, one that I haven’t fully read, but I was listening to a podcast he was on called the Latte Factor. And I loved this because how many of us stopped by Starbucks on a given basis or any coffee shop? If you’re a local gal, I love that too. We drink our coffee, I drank my coffee and my water, but my coffee comes first and then my water. And he was saying, we’re all a little richer than we think and yet we still complain. We stand in Starbucks line and we get our coffee and yet we’re broke. You’re holding a $7 beverage daily.

You’re holding a $7 beverage daily and yet you’re broke, that doesn’t make sense. You’re driving a 2019 car off the lot, may be used, maybe not and it still put a pinch in your budget. My cars are paid off, thank you, Jesus and I don’t drive the newest car. I walked in 5:00 AM in the morning to my gym and the woman comes up to me, she’s like, oh my gosh, you’re driving my dream car. And I was like, Oh cool. It’s a Nissan infinity. I’m like, you can have it.

And she was like, no way, girl, those are way too expensive. And I was like, nope, mine’s paid off. And she was like, well, that’s great. And I’m like, no, no, no, no, that’s not what I mean. It’s a 2011 that has a brand new paint job and it looks really good, but there are 111,000 miles on my vehicle and it still moves, it gets me from point a to point B imagine that. Cost the same in gas, so there’s that. But it doesn’t matter what the facade is, it doesn’t matter what their dream is, it’s your dream too. Why don’t you peel back the onion layer and ask them how they got there? Why don’t you peel back the onion layer and say, what does that cost you per month? But just out of curiosity, if somebody is not willing to tell you, or they’re not honest with you, then you need to change friends. We’ll talk about that next.

But I want you to know that you’re looking at that grass is not greener Sister, it’s different. They might’ve gotten… maybe their lawn is great. If you go to my house, our lawn is really good. My husband owned a lawn company when he was 16, OB One Come Mow Me, [inaudible 44:58] same guy with no shirt, so, you know you all would have had him, but he keeps a really good lawn. We moved into this new home, it’s his mom’s house, which is an abundantly lush garden, but there were so many pieces. He was like, oh, I don’t like that, I don’t like this, don’t like this, the yard looks so good. I wonder what the neighbors think.

Actually, I know what the neighbors think. Some of them have come up to us and said, you guys are making us look bad, we’ve been here for 20 years and now you come in and you make it look all fresh and new and we got to get to work in our yard. They had to take down some trees because we took down some trees, they had to get some new, fresh flowers because we got some new, fresh flowers and my prayer to them is that they’re looking at the heart level here. Because you should have seen my weeded yard when we were broken. And our money was being invested in our marriage and not our lawn. The neighbor would have said, oh my gosh, look at her yard, they need to get out there, they’re young, they don’t even care about the things that they own.

Oh no, we care, but it’s about the nucleus, it’s about the nuclear. And that is not your mom or your sister or your cousin or your best friend. That nuclear is where you are at night. That mirror, that you look into this person that’s standing alongside you when you’re brushing your teeth and holding you and saying, you’re beautiful just the way you are. So, reinvest your time in one of those places and ways that you can tangibly do that is to reinvest your time in self-care. And people always think that that’s selfish. You got your nails done? You get facials? That must be nice. Guess what I’m doing during that time? That is my replen… I listen to worship, I worship my way into that room, I worship my way through that room, and I worship my way out.

Because I’m dealing with a family situation where my siblings don’t speak to me, they’re blocked on my phone. My mom and I just started talking after a two-year broken, severed relationship because of my problem that I pointed at her. We all are going through it no matter how refreshed we may look. My nails are so that I can have an hour by myself without my children pulling on my dress. Right? And there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong, you deserve that time and I want you to use it abundantly.

Now, mind you, I checked my bank account before I went there. I didn’t know swipe, but I got there, and I felt refreshed when I got home, I had more abundant energy to overflow and outpour into my children. And it doesn’t matter, you don’t have to do those things. One of the times I just went running on the beach, it was free. Imagine that. And the thing is, is we’re constantly, as women pouring out, constantly giving our entire picture to whoever needs it, the person knocking on your door, that’s crying and says, I need you, I need your support, I need you to pray for me. No, no, no. Sister, you need to pray for yourself and I’ll pray alongside you, but they don’t need you to pray for them, they need to pray for themselves.

They don’t need all of your time and energy when you don’t have any to give. You need to set boundaries over your time, over your finances, over your love, over your nuclear home, and say, I’m sorry, today you’re not welcome, today is just for them. I can’t commit to that because I am busy here. Learn to say no, learn to be okay that your no is not no, it’s a yes, somewhere else, no to this responsibility. And it’s okay to say no to responsibilities. I have friends who go to work before their workday starts.

I have friends who stay at work until their work is done. It’s going to be there tomorrow. They’re not paying you for that, why are you there? You could be investing in yourself in such an abundant way and yet you’re letting them pull the life out of you because you are trying to please someone else. At the end of the day, they don’t care and if they do care, they’re not caring enough because they should be caring about your wellbeing. not you punching the clock. Invest your time, invest your finances in the space that are not selfish, but instead selfless because the overflow that you get from that time is for all the other people that initially asked for it but now you can give it abundantly and rightfully so. Two more re-invent and remission.

So, re-invent, that’s the self-identity piece. We talked about that a lot. Don’t let your titles define who you are, let Jesus’s titles over who you are as a daughter define you. You are a daughter of the King Most High. You are a princess in his courts. Start acting like one, start speaking, like one start standing like one, start sharing like one, all the above, because he sees you as that and you already have it, we were talking about confidence. You might not feel that way that day. You might say, well, I’m not like her again, comparison. So what? God didn’t make you like me for a reason, God made you like you for such a reason.

Speaker: That’s right.

Tamra: He wants you to stand in where you are right now because he gives you the confidence. I had crazy knots in my stomach before I stood up here and I don’t feel a thing right now, other than the peace of the Lord, because he transcends all things. And what I’m saying, I don’t have written down and I used to, believe every single word I’d be like, and I don’t have to do that anymore. Anthony would be so proud of me right now. He says, you just use what life gives you.

Audience: That’s right.

Tamra: And this week, this week alone, the amount of times God winked for this specific time because I prayed for it. I asked for it. I said, come on God, what do you got for me to help refresh these women of all different ages of all different backgrounds, of all different problems. And I hope today has touched you. The last one that I want to share about is remission. And that’s a weird word to end on because oftentimes you think of cancer at that point.

And you think of the things of, oh my gosh, she’s living in remission, that’s such a blessing, but there’s that fear of what if, what if she goes back to that? What if it takes their body over again? What if it takes their mind over again? What if she becomes suicidal again? That could happen. It very well could. And the what if it’s always there, but God gives us such a peace, such an ability because our future is already defined by him to say that remission is the opportunity to remember your mission. It’s your opportunity to say, I’m still here. He says, daughter, I let you have this time, what are you going to do with it? Don’t live in fear for what if, live for the other people who are walking through the same problem who need your story to say, I made it I’m here on the other end.

I have a restored marriage even after brokenness, I have redeemed myself as a mother with my children who will know no different because they were such babies, but I know. I know what the stained door looked like but let me share what color it was before it was blue. So, eight ways to refresh you, ready? Realign, find your core. Replenish, find your resting place. Restore, find your ideal diet. Re-touch find your focus. Re-invest, find yourself. Re-invent find your people and remission find, remember your mission. All of this will be leading you to full refreshment, but the very first step is repentance.

And until we can all come to the feet of Jesus like Mary and say, father, I’m sorry, my hands are wide open. I have nothing left to clench onto my titles are gone, my money is gone, my cars are gone, I drive a minivan. I always thought I’d never do that. And here I am saying, I am yours, will you be mine? And he takes you. He takes you stained, he takes you in the storm, he takes you in the mud and he refreshes you and he give you goodness. And he makes it so abundant that he allows you to give it to other people. So, daughters, I just pray for you. I pray for you right now that you will be refreshed. I pray that God comes into your life in such an abundant way that you see him every day, winking at you.

Maybe it’s the license plate in front of you that says beloved on your way to share with women. Maybe it’s the whale breach in the ocean when you go running on a personal health day off. Maybe it’s you’re getting your toes done and the person asks you about the tattoo that other people deem as from the devil and they come to know Jesus. Maybe it’s the restoration of your marriage, where your husband now sees you more pruned, more beautiful than the day of your wedding. Maybe it’s your kids getting a second chance with them. Maybe it’s your health, having another opportunity to treat the vessel that God has gifted you in a healthy way.

May God replenish your mind. May the devil shut up today. Crash the chatterbox, live restored, live refreshed, and know that he is so good, but it takes our repentance. It takes our recognition of self, even in the mud. So, God, we ask today, Lord, that you would just know that our hearts are for you. That we have come to your feet, dirty, wronged, angry, grieving, unworthy. And we just ask that you turn that unworthiness into self-love, into abundance, into joy, into peace that transcends all understanding that we can overflow for your kingdom God.

That you would illuminate our lives in such a way that others would come to know you. And we would use all of this refreshment to come into the calling of our lives that you’ve placed over top of your kingdom, over top of your sweet, sweet daughter. In Your precious name. I pray. Amen.

Audience: Amen

Tamra: Thank you guys so much.

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