Today, Danielle speaks to us about how she lives out “more than motherhood”, an electronic Sabbath we should all partake in, and why worldly self love makes her cringe but how godly self love can be an act of worship. It’s super insightful, and she gives us a peek into her wellness world. Thank you, Danielle!
Tell us a little bit about how you grew up and your childhood: Oh gosh, what a story. A single mother raised me alongside my mentally disabled brother. I was raised in church; accepted Christ in the 4th grade. While I know I was saved then, [I] didn’t start living my life for Christ until age 26. I was active in the youth group, choir and yearbook committee in high school.
A turning point: I’ve always been “the big girl.” After two children by c-section, eight years of military wife life (you know what I mean, multiple LONG deployments, being stationed OCONUS, just regular military wife life!) I was just the woman who truly believed that she was destined to be the big girl in the room. My husband is an avid runner and always a PT stud. I was the cheerleader for him. I was the proud wife, but the wife that never joined him.
Don’t get me wrong there were plenty of times where I “tried” to lose weight, to get healthy… but they never stuck, because my heart had resigned itself to being “the big girl.” After having my second child, a precious little girl, I had a MAJOR reality check. I peered down into my daughters eyes and saw me, saw my entire obese childhood, the shame the embarrassment, the dieting through my teen years, the never fitting into clothes in the juniors section… all of it. I pictured her reliving everything, and I panicked. I had a full blown, gut punch, panic attack. I called my best friend and was talking to her about it and I asked her, “What if she turns out just like me?” and she simply and calmly said, “So change”
But you don’t understand, you don’t just change. And she said, “Well, sure you do, you just make one choice in the right direction, then you make another, then another, then another. Day after day, you just choose something new.” Did my entire life change in that moment? No, but I made one healthy decision, and then I made another.
What is a biblical passage inspiring you at the present time? “[N]ot domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:3.
God is pulling me back here constantly. Even though I’m reading through the Gospels currently, I keep finding myself pulled in my prayer life to this passage.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Growing and discipline others. God is breaking me in so many ways, so many beautiful ways, but ways that are tough and exposing. I’m grateful for the breaking, but of course it’s not pleasant.
Profession: Nutrition Counselor and Health Coach.
Walk us through a day in your life: I’m an Army wife, mother of 2 children. We are currently stationed at Fort Campbell, KY but gearing up for a BIG move to Hawaii, this summer. My daily life includes a “miracle morning” routine of reading scripture, writing out gratitude & prayer, exercise. THEN then chaos begins. The kids wake, and I work hard to create a positive energy in our home. I turn on upbeat “Jesus music”, make breakfast, the kids and I do a devotional while they’re eating, and then it’s off to school or our days activities for them. I have set office hours, so if my daughter is home, I have a few activities that she stays busy with while I’m taking client calls or training other coaches on my team. School pick up and then on with our evening.
How do you incorporate your connection with God into your daily, secular work? This is HUGE for me. God called me to this profession, and so I take it incredibly serious to infuse my social media with Truth from God’s word. I believe the platform I’ve been given is to share the gospel and equip others to share the gospel in their networks.
What do you think is something, we as Christians can bring to the wellness sphere? The concept of self love actually makes me cringe. As a Christian woman I’m secure in my understand of Christ only, deny thyself, etc. So the worldly vision of self love doesn’t “sit well” with me.
But when reframed in the context of self worth… self love is a beautiful act of worship. It’s about loving and taking care of the body that God gave you. Right where it is. It’s about the way you talk and think about yourself. It’s about the way you fuel yourself.
As a mom, if I saw my children treat themselves with no self respect, verbalizing their hate of certain body parts, looking at themselves in the mirror with disgust I would CRINGE, CRY and scream oh child you are worth SO much more. SO SO much more.
Then WHYYYYY mama’s can’t we treat ourselves that way? How do you think your eternal father looks at you when you’re looking in the mirror? When you’re looking at your thighs with hatred as you try to zip shorts in the dressing room?
It’s not about making our bodies an idol, it’s about respecting the temple. It’s an act of worship to treat what God loves with respect.
How do you incorporate your faith in your fitness and wellness practice? I focus on Truth from the Word to remind my clients of their worth. Not because of a number, a workout or what they’ve eaten but because of who created them. I pray for my clients and coaches daily.
“I pray for my clients and coaches daily.”
What advice do you have for a young woman who wants a job like yours? Listen to the whisper. Consistency builds momentum. So take one step and then the next and the next. If God is calling you to this marketplace, then make HIM the number 1 priority.
Did you feel particularly called to go into this profession? YES! For sure, there is no denying that God called me here to this space. It’s the most unlikely thing. I have NO business being here, but God called, I obeyed and he constantly showed me the way.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? More than Motherhood.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? At G.A. Camp, when I was 10 years old. I was at a campfire with the other campers and God just spoke. His grace was made clear.
“His grace was made clear.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Daily scripture and small group Bible study. Surrounding myself with other women who are fearlessly confident in God’s word and aren’t afraid to challenge me.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Awaken by Pricilla Shirer. It’s fantastic. Every day, it is challenging and spurs journaling.
Top three essentials: Morning routine, COFFEE and my superfoods.
How did God speak to you recently? Through humility. Which is a not so fun way to be spoken to, but what a BEAUTIFUL wonderful Father. He is SO kind to me. He’s showing me daily His mercies are new. I’m pushing through a lot of self-doubt and feeling like I don’t provide value in my business realm and God is showing me daily that HE is the Sustainer, Provider and Source.
Hobby: Oh gosh, I’m not sure I have one in this season.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: CONSISTENCY. Even when you don’t feel like it, stay consistent with your prayer life & scripture. Infuse it into your life, speak God’s Truth to your children, friends, spouse, social media platform. Morning routine. I can’t speak highly enough about giving your FIRST fruits to God, first thing.
Favorite person in scripture? Ruth.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That none of us can DO anything to earn God’s love. Grace abounds, and we are inherently worthy because we were created by a perfect Creator.
How do you leave your mark on your community? I want my legacy to scream JESUS. I want people to know that taking care of their body doesn’t have anything to do with vanity and idolizing it. That it’s an act of worship to move and fuel your body well.
“I want people to know that taking care of their body doesn’t have anything to do with vanity and idolizing it.”
Favorite holiday? Advent? I love the season between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
A goal you have? Oh gosh. My BIG hairy scary goal this year is for my team to be ranked in the top 200 of my company. But more than anything my overarching goal is obedience.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: We observe a 24 hour social media/ electronic Sabbath from 3 p.m. Saturday to 3 p.m. Sunday. We play games; go for walks and bike rides. Really focus on spending time with each other each week.
“We observe a 24 hour social media/ electronic Sabbath”
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Why raccoons? I mean they’re just trash pandas why were they created?
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Food manufacturing. It sounds weird, but one of my BIG platforms is helping people become informed consumers. Nutrition is obviously a huge part of my business, and teaching people how to read labels is a big deal for me.
What does your morning routine consist of? Soul, mind, body. In that order. Every single morning. Filling my soul is my number one priority, at all times. It’s more important than exercise, healthy eating, listening to an empowering book, connecting with human beings. My relationship with God will ALWAYS be in that top spot. For me, that’s scripture, worship music and prayer, every morning.
My mind comes next. Filling it with good (I already started that process above), but I go a step further, it’s gratitude, it’s quiet meditation, it’s arming myself as best I can with words from wise humans because once I step out of this bubble, the world is in my face, and I need to be ready.
Body is last on my morning list. I don’t work out to look a certain way. I workout to feel a certain way. I work out because I’ve been given the privilege to still be able to move. I fuel it well not as punishment but as an expression of my gratitude for what God has entrusted to me.
THIS is self-care. It’s not about selfishness, it’s about stewardship.
“I don’t work out to look a certain way. I work out to feel a certain way.”
Define Christianity in a sentence: Daily death of self to willingly choose Him over me.
For more Danielle:
Facebook: Danielle Porter
Until next time, keep witnessing!