Thursday, April 12, 2012

Leading from behind.


Growing up as an athlete & having a natural competitiveness side in me I always took the approach to lead by example. I strived to finish first & out work everyone. Although there is nothing wrong with that approach at all & I still strive to do it at times, I have learned in the past few years to lead in a different way: leading from behind. A friend of mine showed this to me by her actions of selflessness & I have been praying to find ways to do this in my everyday life too. It's been life changing to say the least.

When I was participating in a bootcamp with a few other baseball wives during Spring Training God laid Mark 9:35 on my heart one morning. A sweet lady in the class had recently lost her sister & it was 5:30 in the morning of her sisters birthday. She was open about it & the fact that today was a struggle. As I heard her talking about how her sister would want her to change & be healthier I heard God saying to put my self aside for the day. As we rounded the corner of the lake I noticed she was no where to be found on the bridge. She was coming up the road a ways back. That dark morning was tough for her. Normally I would push myself to finish first but that day I had to set my pride to the side & go back to get her. I remember thinking as we were jogging behind the rest of the group that this is the way Jesus did it. He leads from the back... pushing, encouraging, & serving us. I needed that reminder that day. I was honored to finish with her that day & I would have to say we were champions that day! I needed that moment that day as much as her.

To update you on this wonderful lady I am happy to tell you that she is truly making positive lifestyle changes! She is committed & determined to make a difference in the ones she influences, including her daughter. Her 12 year old daughter participated in many bootcamp classes while I was there in Florida. She continues to make her sister proud & be the best she can be. She not only is getting healthier but as time went on I saw her encouraging us! Miss Shirley will always have a special place in my heart. We bonded that day. I was reminded that morning that I need to listen to Gods quiet voice in my heart more often.

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve & said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, & the servant of all."  Mark 9:35

Serving others is real leadership. When Jesus was talking he described leadership in a whole new perspective. I have been overwhelmed by the way this approach has affected my life. Leading from the back has blessed me beyond words.

Join me with the challenge to have a servants heart this week & to lead from the back! Be ready & willing to hear what God calls you to do today to be more like Jesus. It will not only bless those you help but bless you beyond words.

Its not about me.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Perseverance: Steady persistance in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., inspite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

How many times do we let that little voice inside of us saying to give up actually win? How many times is it so much easier to hit snooze one more time instead of getting to the gym, running that extra mile, finishing that last burpee, etc. The moments I haven't given in, which have been more so in the last few years, I have seen major growth in my life physically, emotionally, and spiritually. You grow just a little bit more every little step you take.

What kind of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement are you giving into today? How is Satan attacking you? Maybe it's just one of those days where you feel blah and you really don't want to push through it... I want to encourage you friend to press on because there IS light at the end of the tunnel! I know there are many days when it would be just so much easier to give up but is it really worth it to give up? Doesn't God deserve our best? Don't YOU deserve to give Him your best?!

James 1:12 NIV Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Just like we should persevere in our efforts physically, we should persevere emotionally & spiritually. God didn't promise us that life would be easy, he just promised that it would be worth it! He wants the glory in the good times and the bad. He doesn't want you to give up! He wants you to press on toward the goals He has set out for you! He has BIG plans for your life & wants to use you to glorify His name every chance He gets! Decide NOW that you will persevere with the confidence knowing that God has a special plan for you!

Take time this weekend to reflect on what you have done this week. Where do you need to persevere in your personal life? Maybe it's your health, your marriage, your career, your relationships, or a situation just too hard to explain. Whatever it might be hand it over to God & let Him show you how to strain towards the goals He has for you! He desires us to live a life of abundance & when you persevere through trials with Him you will understand true abundance. He will give you His strength to finish strong!

I want to encourage you to take the lies and shame that Satan has convinced you with & throw them away. Empty your backpack full of regrets & move forward. 

I believe in you!

Hebrews 12:1 NIV Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great 
cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin 
that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked 
out for us.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hefner Family Update:

13 weeks!!!

The belly up close:

It's hard to believe it's already been 13 weeks. I guess it's true what they say... It goes by so much faster when you are busy with a toddler! Jace has really kept us busy with his big personality! 

The first trimester was somewhat difficult but we got through it successfully! I got in at least 4-5 days of exercise! For those of you who's first trimesters are a breeze or you haven't been pregnant yet this kind of success calls for a fist pump or "head bump" as Jace likes to do! It's a big deal people! I struggled to have energy but always felt better once I made myself get up & go!

So what have I been doing exactly? I have been doing a variety of things: running, elliptical, spin class, TurboFire HIIT DVD's, & some circuit training. I try to go with how my body feels and just get something in for the day. It's important to not push yourself too far while pregnant so I have been just enjoying a great sweat! Tomorrow I am doing a bootcamp with some other wives & shall see how my body reacts! Really looking forward to the change of pace & hoping my competitiveness doesn't come out right now ;) 

I also need to give a shout out to my wonderful husband. I seriously am so grateful for the man I married! He knows how to take care of a lady :)  He does the laundry, dishes, changed diapers, & well, pretty much everything even when I don't ask him to do it... Yes, I am telling the truth ladies! I can't thank him enough for the way he takes care of our little family! 

Now that I am going into my second trimester things are improving. I am gaining energy & getting a little bit of an appetite. I still enjoy my naps when I can get one while Jace is napping! I mean, why not? ;) 

Here are some of my favorite things right now:

My new awesome blender:

My reliable Shakeology:

 Fruit, fruit, & more fruit:

We are here in Florida & enjoying some quality family time. Spring Training is officially underway! I am so proud of my husband & excited to see what 2012 holds for him on and off the field!

Jace update:

 He is running (not walking) everywhere. He is very social & has manners. He loves Mickey Mouse, Nemo, trains, playing ball w/Daddy, praying the "roster" prayer where he thanks God for everything, talking about his cousins, sitting on momma's lap, singing DEEP & WIDE (he literally yells it) & our favorite bedtime song is How Great Is Our God (he is like his Gramps). 

I have officially become "full time" with Beachbody & helping fight obesity! I truly love my job & the fact that it's not something I have to do but it's who I am. I have been doing Facebook challenges & these women have blown me away! They have blessed me more than I could ever bless them! If you are seeking accountability or need some direction in your health & fitness journey please do not hesitate to ask me for help! It's always a privilege to do so!

Thank you to all our friends & family for all of your support & prayers! We are truly grateful for all of you! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why Haiti stole my heart.

~God's 3 beautiful girls~

God has completely softened my heart for these children. I knew going into this trip that I would love them but I had no idea just how much I would love them like my own. Every child I held or played with felt like my heart was going to explode with love for them regardless of the filth, worms, sad faces, etc. It was truly God showing me His love for us. We were orphans & He rescued us. I am filthy but He loves me anyway. Every hug reminded me again & again God's love for us.

 The hardest part of the day was when we had to put them down & say our goodbyes. The hurt in their eyes broke my heart. The one promise I could hold on to was that they weren't left alone. Jesus had his hand on them & they are His children. God has a specific plan for each child & I believe with all my heart that these 3 young girls have big plans ahead for them. They have forever impacted my life.

The one thing I noticed while being in Haiti is the perspective of the country. Everyone sees it as a place of corruption but when we left yesterday I saw a place of beauty from ashes. I believe there is so much hope for Haiti & God is truly doing amazing things through the people, Mission of Hope, & the children in Haiti. 

"All Haitians are hungry. We don't focus on the hunger because God is our food." 
-Bobby (one of our Haitian translators)

I have no idea where to start on sharing stories with you but as the week goes on I will continue to post short stories throughout our trip. 

Thank you so much for all your prayers while I was gone. I felt each one of them as we went out everyday! I am so thankful to have had this experience with a great group! We all have came home with a mission in mind to help Haiti & see where God leads us to do so!

I will be back with some stories shortly! :) 

Here are some pictures from our trip! There will be more soon!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My 9 months of growing:

6 weeks.

I have shared ways that I have made lifestyle changes after having my first baby & now I want to share with you the journey to staying fit throughout my pregnancy. My goal is to stay "fit" throughout my pregnancy & have a healthy delivery. Who says just because your pregnant you can't be fit? My body is already starting to change faster the second time around & I'm ok with that as long as I am doing what I need to do to stay healthy :)

Don't get me wrong, I will definitely be embracing my belly bump & enjoying what my body craves within reason. I believe being pregnant is such a blessing & we should embrace every stage as a gift. The thought of a human being created so special inside of me is one of the biggest gifts God could ever give to me & I am oh so grateful!

I know many people have asked me what I am going to do now that I am pregnant, so I have decided to take you on the journey with me in hopes it will inspire you in some way! 

So, what am I going to do? Right now I am still doing pretty intense workouts. Most of the time you are able to continue as long as your body is use to the intensity. Over time I will have to gradually back off & slow it down. 

What am I eating & drinking? I have cut back on my caffeine & continued to eat semi normal. My nausea has caused my appetite to be all messed up. I am not hungry in the mornings AT ALL. Breakfast is usually my favorite meal so this is strange for me! I have been eating small snacks throughout the day to keep me from getting sick. In the first trimester it is recommended to only eat 100 extra calories a day. No "eating for 2" for this momma... at least no indulging- yet. 

I have some ideas on how I want to share my journey on a regular basis & ways to inspire other expecting momma's! I hope to share these ideas soon! 

Don't let circumstances end up being excuses! Do you what you can today with what you have! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A new "why" : morning sickness

These are a life saver when you have morning sickness.

When I was pregnant with my son a sweet friend of mine gave me a big bag of Jolly Ranchers. Let's just say, these were life savers! Anytime I got the nauseous feeling I would pop one in my mouth & it seemed to take care of the problem. This time around I feel as if the nauseous wants to stick around all day long. It's a frustrating feeling but all so worth it in the end. 

As all of you know, I am a runner. Running has become my sense of escape. Now, running has become my sense of normalcy. If I can win the battle of getting out of bed I know it's going to make for a great day. After a good run or a good workout I feel as if I can function. It is like a new medicine this time around... Yes, I will still be eating my jolly ranchers, however, I am happy to say my new why in running is to just feel good. I'm ok with it... 

My goal is to also run throughout the whole pregnancy. I might not be running 8 miles at 8 months pregnant but I sure can do 1 or 2. My prayer is to have a safe & healthy pregnancy. I am looking forward to this journey of a growing baby (& belly). January 12th can't get here soon enough! I am ready to see our lil peanut!

What is your "why" in 2012?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Change is on its way!

Our family is growing by two feet...

I knew a new year would bring some change but I guess I didn't realize what GREAT change would be actually occurring in our family... 

1. I get to experience Haiti in just a few short days. I can't wait to see what God has in store for this trip. My heart longs to wrap my arms around those babies at Mission of Hope Orphanage. God has laid it on my heart to go & I have no doubt he has big plans for my trip that only HE could do. Thank you to all who are praying, have supported, & being apart of my trip. You are blessing to me & the ones at Mission of Hope. Thank you for listening to the call! 

Matthew 28:19

2. I am tackling a new business adventure with Beachbody. I get to help others all over the United States make lifestyle changes. This year I will be working hard to do my part to fight obesity & put others first. 

3. I get to be with one of my best friends as she marries the guy of her dreams! I feel so blessed to be able to be apart of her big day & see her become Mrs. Butler. She will be a beautiful bride!

4. We get to experience a whole new organization with the New York Mets. This means new spring training, new people, new state, & a whole new adventure. Pretty anxious about our adventure to the complete other coast this year.

5. Jace turns 2! It's hard to believe how fast he has grown & how big his vocabulary has become this past year. His little personality is by far the best in my eyes. He loves trains, any type of "catch", has a new obsession with Mickey Mouse, says the cutest prayers, & could play outside for hours. He is a true boy with a loving heart. He is crazy about his cousins. He thinks school is so fun. I am looking forward to the new baseball season to bond with my son. He brings great joy to his momma & daddy! Look out potty training because you WILL happen in 2012!

6. Lastly, 2012 means adding an addition to our family! We are more than thrilled to say that Jace is going to be a big brother. I am going to embrace every stage (except the nausea!)... I can't wait to buy some cute maternity clothes and rock them with my BIG belly, the ultra sounds, kicking, sleeping every single night on my side, singing with Jace to the baby, shopping at Babies R Us, & everything else that goes with having a baby. The thought of our little family growing by two more feet warms my heart. Excited for the journey: the hard, the exciting, the unknown, & all! 

There will also be lots of birthdays to celebrate, airplane rides with a 2-year-old, baseball games to watch, visiting old & new friends, & many things that God will show us only in his timing. I am beyond excited for a new year!

 May God's hand be in every detail of 2012!