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Taking Another Step | Prompted to Share

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What’s truly important to me? What will make me happy?  What is my purpose?

 

Is there a meaning to all of this?!  Why can’t I get this right?!!

 

Perhaps I think too much. Perhaps I take life too seriously.  But perhaps this world is full of distractions and perhaps we are meant for more than the things most of us chase.

 

“Better” jobs, more money, greater success, health, less stress, popularity, happiness, approval of others and respect.

 

What if none of these things matter?  What if all these things do is make us feel sustainable and secure – feeling we have everything sussed.    

 

What if the chase is all we are ever going to get?  You see, we are all seeking something – something, I fear, these things won’t fulfill.

 

“Chasing” implies that you hope to get it, collect it, add it and assimilate into your life somehow – it’s about *gaining* something … even when we give, often we are expecting something back (if we’re honest with ourselves).

 

I’m pretty sure true love, true caring and true success lie in putting others first – being humble, supportive, giving time (even when we are busy) and giving hope.  That is the only example that we can give that matters.

Not how many likes I get on Facebook – but how caring I am to *one*.

 

If I am honest, I do want more popularity, compliments, love, money, recognition, praise and I wouldn’t mind (still) having a “better” body.  I still envy others who appear to have the things I want from life: husband, house, kids, security… and, I am *still* lonely sometimes.  

 

Despite these heavy feelings, I also get the sense that they are pulling me into a place where my eyes and heart are opened to learning that there *is* more than the shallow surface gloss we all hope for from life.  For me, the gloss is not enough and I feel drawn to explore deeper into the world beyond the world – the unseen realm of faith, love, meaning and ultimately, JOY.

 

In many ways, the heights of heaven are found in the depths of pain. 

 

You see, there’s no use in me saying I have it all sussed out because each time I hit a brick wall within myself I get to a point of complete emptiness and say:

 

“There *has* to be more!! I must be missing something?! Is this it??” 

And that’s when I fall on my face and find just enough of what I was looking for to prompt me to share … yet, where am I sharing?  Who is getting to hear my story? Well, I have a confession to make about that:

 

I sit and write *every* morning and I never publish it. Why?  Because I write about my faith in God and this is a fitness site – in my heart I want to share what I’m being inspired to write, but on the other hand, I want to stick within “what’s popular”. I’m ashamed that I am ashamed, and the old me is cringing when I speak the name of Christ or profess that my relationship with Him is becoming more and more important to me. So here I am at a cross roads for my blog.  And I am being prompted to just share it!  

 

I am stepping out to say I want to be completely open to make this site a place of Fitness for Body AND Soul – because our greatest struggles start inside! 

 

Wanna know why I am so keen to share this?  Because I can’t reach those I am meant to reach if I am not using what I have been given.  No one else has my story; no one else has my personality, nor can they see the world the way I see it. Just as I feel prompted to teach exercise, I feel completely drawn to help in any other  way I can – which is by being who God wants me to be, no matter how much the old me wants to cringe.

 

It’s time I grew up and stopped worrying what y’all think – you can decide for yourselves if you want to read it.

 

What is happening in my life is completely overwhelming in so many ways. Nothing else could explain the change in me.  I am BURSTING to write, to share, to support and to help others more than I ever thought I’d want.      

 In the coming months, Myomytv is FINALLY getting a face-lift!  It’s time to show you exactly where I am being led in my life.

And I can’t WAIT to share it all with you!

 

 

God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”

- CS Lewis 

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43 Responses

  1. Jacqui says:

    Marianne,
    I am so glad you had the strength and courage to share what’s on your heart! I love your workouts and I enjoy reading your thoughts on fitness, but your faith is a part of you and is what makes you uniquely YOU. Being true to yourself is part of your character and that is appealing. We can read about fitness from a zillion people – but when we come here we come for your voice and your perspective. I think it’s awesome that you are sharing this important area of your life with your readers :)

  2. Audrey says:

    Marianne,

    I have been secretly following you for a few years now off and on, and I just happened to click back on your site after saying to myself “you need to get out your kettle bells” tomorrow. Then I saw only the first paragraph of what your wrote, and I knew exactly what you were going to say, I just knew it…and I struggle the same way, and I want to share the gospel through fitness too. I’ve totally neglected my ACE studies to become a certified trainer, but I’m getting my books back out, and my bells.

    I’m glad you wrote this Marianne :)

  3. Stuart says:

    Hi.

    I have been visiting your website regularly for the last year and only now felt the need to comment.

    I am not in the slightest bit religious. I don’t believe in a god, I don’t read the bible and I believe that rigid religious beliefs cause more conflicts (of various proportions) than anything I can think of.

    However, that said I do believe in faith.

    Every time someone buys into one of your exercise program’s it is an act of faith that it will produce a response, do no harm (if performed correctly) and be a positive experience. There are no guarantees, no testimonials than can assure everyone that it is right for every viewer, there can’t be.

    The only indication there is is you. You have put yourself out there, led by example and conveyed yourself as a very genuine kind person. No mean feat on a media such as the Internet.

    I am a physiotherapist working in NHS hospitals following on from a career in the fitness industry.

    A year ago I began to work as a locum for a variety of reasons but primarily due to feeling inhibited from expressing myself and doing the best by my patients. Somehow stepping out of the confines of being an employee and instead being a “a contractor” has allowed me to work in a way that puts patient care, progression and quality of life (by optimising rehab improvements) first and “getting through the numbers” (I despise that term) a thing of the past.

    It has also allowed me to be me a bit more and less of the “corporate image” expected of me when working as a permenant employee. This recently led to a ward manager trying to put my name forward for a care at work award prompted by the patients I was treating (it my latest position). I only found this out on my last week.

    Throughout my 10 years as a physiotherapist I have continued to improve my knowledge and continue my fitness knowledge along with my other passion for martial arts. I have dreamed of making the leap from working in the hospital to training others incorporating the fitness element which I believes ties nicely to prehab or rehab. It will allow me to express myself more freely.

    But like many these ambitions are mixed with doubt and the belief that staying where I am is the “safest”
    option.

    I say none of this to impress you but to try to impress upon you that you are making a positive contribution not only in your fitness endeavours but your struggles/doubts expressing who you are and your brave attempts to clear each doubt hurdle at a time. This in itself is an act of faith, strength ( though it may not feel it at the time), personal integrity and prioritising of your life goals, reciprocal in that they will bring you happiness and inspire others to do the same.

    So, religion ain’t my bag (I am sure it is not everybody’s), but good people doing good things whilst following their own path is, and I will be back for that for sure.

    Keep it up Marianne I think you re great.

    Best wishes Stuart

  4. Melly says:

    I am not a religious person but I am spiritual and I support those who use spirit and religion to better the greater good. I trust you will do this Marianne. Be all of who you are, your offering to the world will only become better and more authentic.

  5. squirrel says:

    That’s an easy one – go for it, girl! It’s your blog, and if we don’t like it we can go and read some else’s ;) no just kidding. I have the feeling that you’re on the right track.

  6. Marianne says:

    Everyone, I am just overwhelmed by your replies. I am so glad I pressed through the fear of posting this and that it offers some comfort to so many who struggle with similar things.

    I’m just so moved by your comments and the countless private messages I got, too. <3

  7. Lesley says:

    I am so so so proud of you! This totally made my day (even if I am a few days late reading it ;) )

    You are being lead by that still voice, the spirit inside and I am thrilled that you are going to take us along with you! We all need more spiritual guidance in our lives and for some, their only experience with faith might come from this very place – what they thought was a fitness site perhaps!

    There might be a few who will dwindle away or be “put off” but talk of God and spiritual things but consider the multitude who are seeking help to make sense of this all!

    I’d love to see a story/post about how you have evolved and what started you on this path too!

    So proud of you!

    Blessings,
    Lesley

  8. Kirsten says:

    I admire your honesty and integrity, Marianne! Keep following the path which is yours. I wish you all the best on your journey.
    Kind regards, Kirsten

  9. Debra says:

    Marianne,
    I’m so happy to hear that you’ll be sharing your faith because God is calling you — and this may end up being a ministry for you. I can’t wait to see what you do and what He does, too. Either way, I’m a long time fan of yours and that won’t change.
    P.S. I just watched your Taster and loved it!

  10. Heidi says:

    Marianne, you are an oasis in a sea of fitness that is dominated by aesthetics and outward image alone. I think I’ll look to your blog nearly exclusively (save Nia, pretty much) from now on because I’m having an internal struggle with trying so hard to be pleasing to the eye, but still remaining … not humble necessarily, but trying to not be vain. If you ever have words of wisdom on that topic, they’d be greatly appreciated.

  11. Gina says:

    This is great! God is so removed from our society these days it is disturbing. My mother always said – it is not a bad thing to instill the fear of God in children, it makes them behave. LOL. And it makes adults behave too. A little Faith goes a long way.
    Now I have a husband, kids and a house, and there are times when I wish I could escape for the day, it gets so overwhelming. I mean I can’t even pee alone. My daughter who is 2 tries to tear down the shower curtain when I’m in there, so I haven’t take a decent shower in – well, forever. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, but be careful what you wish for. Ha!
    Thanks for all you do.
    And I joined your Get glutes program too. LOVE IT!

  12. Adam says:

    Marianne,

    It sounds like you have been waking up for some time? Waking up can be painful at times, but consciousness and awareness provide a path to enlightenment. It’s the path where life is lived. It sounds like your lights are on and there is no way back? All you have to do is pray, meditate and follow what comes…, for that is your “right” path.

    Be true to yourself, know yourself and don’t stop asking these questions. Here is a quote from Rilke on the subject, it was given to me a long, long time ago and it has born fruit:

    “..I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

    Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903
    in Letters to a Young Poet

    Adam

  13. Ruthie says:

    First, don’t go look at that website. It’s horrid and being redone! I’ve read you for a couple of years, but you have no idea what you just did! I have a small fitness studio, and I share my love of Christ with those who I know are also Christian but I tone it down when I don’t know the person. One of my strong beliefs is, “How are you going to serve God if you aren’t healthy enough to do what He wants you to do??” I’ve also felt prompted lately to just say it no matter who I talk to. Write in on my (new) website. Stop holding that part back in fear of losing a potential client because they may not share my beliefs and it may offend them. Then I read your post this morning. God is working through us both in ways we don’t realize! Thank you for the confirmation! I shall too be stepping out on faith…more publicly now!

  14. Keith says:

    Well said, Marianne.

  15. Jasmyne says:

    “In many ways, the heights of heaven are found in the depths of pain. ”
    I’ve never written before but I just want to thank you for being the person that you are and I want to thank you for staying not only true to yourself but for having the strengthen within you to glorify the Lord. Even at a time when having faith in the Lord is not the most “popular” thing to do. You inspire me and you inspire others throughout the world. Changing the world one step at a time.

    “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” – Audrey Hepburn

  16. olga says:

    When i start getting critical of myself i am reminded of two bible verses in particular… 1 samuel 16:7, and Psalms 147:10. Both very encouraging and sobering.

  17. Janel says:

    I’m so grateful for you taking a stand and not being ashamed. So many aspects of walking with Christ and living out one’s faith can correspond with fitness. I’m thrilled that you will be sharing more of the two…together! Our bodies aren’t our own, and it’s for Him that we want to be good stewards. Thanks for being honest and real!

  18. Tracey says:

    BTW: I also want to mention that when we are so focused on our physical,it’s often that our spiritual gets neglected…..I can really relate. I sure would benefit from some time spent each day remembering my spirit!

  19. Tracey says:

    Can’t wait to have you share!!!! XOXO

  20. mac says:

    You do such a great job of helping people understand how to be healthy for the right reasons. It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to be what we see on TV and magazines and feeling so disappointed in ourselves when we just can’t measure up. I try to keep my focus on being healthy for whatever God calls me to do and reading what you have to say always encourages me.

  21. Tommy Dowd says:

    Marianne, I read this yesterday but just now have a chance to comment.

    Your faith your struggles your passion and compassion are what I admire most. God has given you some unique gifts, your openness and genuine nature opens up opportunities for you to witness to others the wonders God brings. Fitness gets your foot in the door and you’re easy to like. :)

    Don’t ever be afraid to reach out when you are having doubt and are feeling down. Remember the enemy attacks those who are strongest so when you are under siege its because you are doing good works. :)

    Your friend,
    Tommy D.

  22. Frances Adamolekun says:

    Hi Marianne,

    I’ve seen a change in the way you write and how much your faith is now becoming apparent. This is really brave because sometimes people can be put off by this sort of thing. God has blessed you with a gift and it’s great that you are sharing this gift with the world.

    I think you are becoming a great ambassador for Christ! I’m looking forward to reading more on both aspects – faith and fitness.

    God bless,

    Frances.

  23. Paul says:

    Hi Marianne,

    Your site is growing and growing, especially since you are showing you are, besides being a super coach, a human being, with all what that implies,strengths,weaknesses,fears,doubts… :-)

    Personally I started following your site because of the training aspect, as many others probably, but your personal posts, is what is also making this site so much more than “just fitness”.

    I think you are so right in coming forward with this post, and I will look very much forward to the “facelift” of your site, that you are hinting at, even though I will still look to your site for super training advices :-)

    Regards,
    Paul.

  24. Cheryl says:

    Hey Marianne, I look forward to your new posts! Our souls are need to nourish our spirit, and we are not complete with just our bodies and minds. It’s awesome that you’re taking this new step, and don’t be ashamed or worried about what others will think. There’s only One whose opinion counts, and He will use you to bless others more richly than you can imagine. May you be blessed in this new journey!

  25. Ron says:

    Hello Marianne, Kettlebells, fitness, the trees, nutrition, faith, God is all connected. It is always connected. Our souls are on a journey. Our experiences are lessons. The lessons keep repeating themselves until we learn. Your love in fitness is your ministry. Your ministry is God teaching to us. You have never held back who you are. Every blog, every video your faith has shown through. You can not really speak it, you show it in what you do, it is felt. You can change the web site, but for those who are part of YOUR TRIBE know who you are and we are grateful. Thank you

  26. Heather says:

    Way to go Marianne! I too have been drawn to you, and this revelation explains why. You have that Light shining through in your character, the wonderful peace that Christ gives us. I am so happy for you, and know that you have a wonderful path ahead of you. Your kindness and grace are truly inspirational, and now your public acknowledgement of your love for our Creator makes me even happier that I stumbled upon your site! Take care and thank you for sharing!

  27. Ruth says:

    Hi Marianne,

    I am not a believer myself, but in the time I’ve been reading your blog and following your workouts I have found myself attracted to the other things you write about, and I do not feel intimidated or offended by your beliefs. Your faith is part of who you are, and you strike me as a person of discipline, compassion, courage, curiosity, and rigorous self-scrutiny … and humor! All good things. Plus you love cats.

    So, go for it. I for one will continue to stop by!

  28. Minnie says:

    Hi Marianne,
    It’s a blast from the past! I haven’t stopped looking you up, I only chose not to write.
    I’ve read about all your accomplishments, changes, travels, photos etc. Kudos to you.
    I felt the desire to say something based on your recent posting. Your words are inspiring and I must
    say on my part very much wanted. I’ll always follow your blog . I’m giddy and looking forward to the
    facelift.
    Thank you,
    Minnie
    P.S. I’m much better at my workouts.

  29. Chaz Wiebe says:

    Hey Marianne, I have been following your increasing sharing of faith closely. I admire you. I see strength inside and out. The amazing hope and peace we find in Christ is not a secret meant to be kept – and I applaud you. The high calibre of you fitness will only add significance to your deeper sharing. And I am certain that Heaven is applauding as well.

    you’re brilliant, you’re courageous to take this step, and I’m looking forward to the new format!

    xo from Canada
    Chaz

  30. Monica says:

    You need to do what your heart tells you. I am drawn to you for who you are, how you teach, your advise, etc. I hope you can find a way of writing about your religious beliefs separately from where you give exercise advice. Maybe separate tabs in your new website? I guess you can tell I’m not religious and it offends me when people talk so much about it, don’t get me wrong, I am very spiritual, but there are so many things so different in so many religions that it always sparks controversy and really, I don’t want to hear about it.
    I think you are one of the best fitness trainers on the web, certainly the best kettlebell trainer. I’ve learned so much from you.

    • Marianne says:

      Monica, don’t worry, I am not a fan of religion, either. My new design will be such that people can see what I am about, and then decide which “area” to explore :) But it will allow me to be me.

    • Keith says:

      Monica, there are plenty of offensive things in this world: animal cruelty, poverty, trash heaps, pornography, pollution, rampant consumerism, narcissism and corruption.

      But believing in an Almighty God? And being devoted to one’s faith? In no way is that offensive. Not remotely.

      I have the highest regard for people who choose and commit to their faith, and who live according to their faith’s creed. Whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or other, real religion entails a much higher and harder path than wallowing in self-centered Westernized junk “spirituality”.

      Well done, Marianne.

      • squirrel says:

        Keith, I think it’s not up to the faith, it’s up to the people. Religion itself might not be offensive, but a certain kind of people can be offensive. If they had other arguments they would hurt people they consider to be worthless with these, but if they do have religion, unfortunately they often use it. (Does that make sense?) Huge difference to me.

        • Keith says:

          I see your point, Squirrel, but we all choose our own philosophies, religions, political affiliations and values. Talking about these things is not, by itself, offensive. If it were we couldn’t function as a society.

          It doesn’t offend me if someone has a different view on life than I do. I may disagree with their view, but I’m hardly going to be offended.

          There is not one example of an atheistic society anywhere. None has ever been found among early human tribes and states. Not one. Every known culture in human history has had a religion. That’s healthy: to have religion is to recognize that humanity is not the top of the mountain.

          Now if someone is pushing you to convert, that can cross the line from enthusiasm to pushiness. But that’s hardly what’s going on here. And frankly I’m not even that fussed by a little evangelism. Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim: all the major religions are worthy of our respect. It takes guts to practice in a formal religion. Lots of people call themselves “spiritual”–what does the word even mean?–but usually “spirituality” seems to be nothing more than meditation, lighting scented candles, dwelling on themselves (self-obsession), and seeing Tarot readers and fortune-tellers. I’ll take organized religion over that lazy narcissism any day of the week.

          I was raised Anglican but am fascinated by Jewish and Muslim theology. I also enjoy the works of Lewis, Sayers and Kreeft. And recently I was at a Hindu wedding and it was an impressive and profound experience–you realized you were watching a tradition that must be over three or four thousand years old. Fantastic.

          So yeah, I’m cool with MK’s blog having a Christian side. And I think her readership will only grow because of it, since religious belief is, absurdly, an unspoken taboo in most fitness blogs. MK’s appeal is that she presents herself honestly, and her faith is part of the package. You don’t have to adopt that faith, but it’s hard to be offended by her love for it.

          • squirrel says:

            I agree completely, Keith! In all points – even the “spirituality” :) The worst thing that can happen to us while exchanging different opinions in a respectful manner: we can grow.

  31. Edel says:

    Be yourself Marianne, that’s what your readers want. I love your honesty. Also 30 ish is a time for people generally to freak out, I find also being over 30 and freaking out :)

  32. Ashley says:

    Bravo Marianne! Expressing your faith takes courage and I’m so glad you’ve done so. As a fellow believer, I knew there was “something” about you- besides the adorable accent and great workouts! ;) Keep being true to who you are, a child of the KING!

  33. Joy Cassell says:

    :) such “moods” seems to be contagious, …..looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

  34. Dana Smith says:

    Wonderful when we finally accept who we were created to be. Bless you. Enjoy the walk…………..

    • tempest sharp says:

      good for you lady. I think you should do what’s in your heart, and to heck with what people think. It’s your blog/website and i think you should do what you feel….. Your strong in your faith it seems, and i’m jealous of that, I used to be so good about it, and i’ve slacked off over the years, i’m ashamed to say, and only look to Him, when i’m overwhelmed, and or scared of losing something or i want help.. I know i should need HIM IN ALL MY LIFE, no matter good or bad. why is it HE GETS pushed aside when HE IS ALWAYS WITH US. YOU ARE MAKING ME WANT TO GO OPEN MY BIBLE.

      Several years back, i used to send scripture out to about 5 ladies once a week, and i loved it, and they looked forward to it….. alaot of times it seemed as thought the timing of whatever i had picked out what just want they needed to hear. that made me so happy… I FOR ONE WILL DEFINITELY WATCHING AND READING YOUR JOURNEY…

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