by tinareale on August 2, 2012

You could say I have had a lot on my mind lately. It all comes back to one theme, though. One theme that I just cannot stop thinking about and reflecting over.


I, like many, enjoy my sense of routine. I am “type A” to a “T”. I enjoy feeling in control. I get giddy when I set out to plan ahead with various ideas and visions for the way things “should” go.

My birthday is 3 weeks from today. All I can think about is that despite all my plans and seeking control in my life, I have to admit that things aren’t even close to what I would have imagined for my life.

Not. Even. Close.

In fact, the past 6 months alone have revolved around God throwing off my “plans” one right after the other. You would think that would kind of piss me off. I won’t lie. At times, it did get very frustrating and leave me with mixed emotions. Yet if there is one thing I have learned in the past 6 or 7 years, it’s that change can be good.

In fact, change can be amazing.

When I was in college, I swore up and down I didn’t want to ever get married. Now, I have the best partner in crime that has supported me (and put up with me) more than anyone has in my entire life.

When I was growing up, I didn’t think I meant anything. I refused to believe that I had any worth or value. That all changed by realizing just how much I am loved.

When I did end up getting married, Peter & I made a plan to start trying for kids after our 5 year wedding anniversary. If I didn’t trust God when he told my heart otherwise, I would just now be trying to get pregnant and wouldn’t have the blessing of my two babies.


I could have fought inner change for a long time and held onto my grudges and blame games…but I opened up to a changed mind and let go of past hurts so I could live a new life of peace and love.

If things had gone according to my plans, I would be teaching part-time right now and not feeling near as fulfilled as I do with my work.

If I had let fear of change stop me, I would have never left behind my old site to venture into different avenues. I wouldn’t be living out a passion in helping others share in a love of fitness and health.

I don’t always like change. I rarely understand change. Sometimes I even outright dig in my heels, fight change, and get upset that it’s even a possibility. I make my plans and I want them to work. I don’t want the change!

Then I recall my  life so far. I have lived and breathed that change is where growth happens. And I know I don’t have to fear change. I can 100% testify to the fact that my life has taken a complete 180…shaped for the better as I changed my heart through a relationship with Jesus. I know that while challenges undoubtedly await me and while more and more change will inevitably come, it will be okay. I can trust my God.

This weekend was bittersweet for Peter and I as we adjusted to a new change – an official change of where we call our church home. I know that might not seem like a big deal, but it is to us. How could it not be when it’s such a huge part of us? I questioned and fought…but in the end I prayed and reflected.

And I remembered…change can be amazing and open up new opportunities – in this case, new ways to more fully worship and praise God for all the changes He has lovingly sent my way so far. More change has happened in the 6 short years I have known Him than in my entire 28 on this Earth.

In sum, this is a message about CHANGE. While change is scary, it is many times worth it. Don’t take it lightly, but be open to it and fully embrace it when it happens. Let the change in and let the growth happen.

Thank you for listening to my reflections today.

Your Turn – What are some big and unexpected changes that have happened in your life?

Local Readers – Peter & I since last month have started worshipping at North Point Community Church. (and LOVE it!). I would love to know if any of you happen to as well. And anyone else interested – you can find inspiring and APPLICABLE messages from North Point online. You can even view LIVE services on Sundays.


1 Janessa August 2, 2012 at 7:19 am

I love listening to Andy Stanley messages! He did a 4 part series called Love, Sex, and Dating that has completely changed the way I view relationships. I’ve sent it to friends thousands of miles away who have in turn passed along to others!

2 Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama August 2, 2012 at 7:21 am

I think changing churches is a huge deal. It’s good that you listened to your heart and God and found the right place for you and your family. Change is scary, but it can be so refreshing at the same time.

3 Katie @ Raisins&Apples August 2, 2012 at 7:37 am

Thanks for sharing, Tina! Change is surely not to be feared…especially when you know who is walking beside you :)

4 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers August 2, 2012 at 7:38 am

It’s wise to embrace change; it’s going to happen whether you like it or not. Haha

5 Heather (Heather's Dish) August 2, 2012 at 7:41 am

Oh honey…believe me, I know all too well the kind of change you guys are going through. The thing is there must be a reason that brought this about and whatever it is God is working through it. praying for you!!

6 Alex @ therunwithin August 2, 2012 at 7:56 am

that is what i tell myself too, when I really am trying to avoid the change, it usually means i need it more than ever. thanks for this wonderful post and reminder.

7 Coco August 2, 2012 at 8:03 am

Changing churches is huge, but I bet more blessings and growth are on the way! I wrote about change today too. :-)

8 Jess August 2, 2012 at 8:07 am

Know what amazes me about change? If you really REALLY think about it…it’s not truly change at all. It’s just God taking us down the path we were meant to follow, we just didn’t know it was our path yet. Crazy when you think of it that way, huh? I love this post!

9 Miz August 2, 2012 at 8:10 am

ahh change
I just dont like to be there when it happens.**

**why yes I AM PARAPHRASING chandler bing! :-)

10 Lee August 2, 2012 at 8:16 am

I definitely struggle with embracing change. I know it can be a good thing, but it’s still very hard! Good for you for embracing it.

11 [email protected] August 2, 2012 at 8:37 am

I’m currently considering taking a huge leap of faith and going back to college, quitting my job and changing my whole life….this post is so applicable and inspirational..thank you!

12 Leah @ Chocolate and Wild Air August 2, 2012 at 8:46 am

Leaving a church is always hard, but in the long run it is usually worth it! Good luck getting plugged in and connecting with other brothers and sisters of Christ

13 Heather (Where's the Beach) August 2, 2012 at 8:54 am

Change can be so scary but somehow it tends to lead us to better things when we embrace it for what it can be.

14 Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family August 2, 2012 at 9:04 am

Change is definitely inevitable and we go through major changes in our lives. How we handle and embrace those changes is what defines us. What a lovely post Tina! Change has been the name of the game in our house since the day we said “I Do”. When I was in college/HS I swore I would never marry military and here I am the proud wife of a Soldier. We have moved 3 times in 3 years to 3 states. And every single change was worth it for the life we live :)

15 jobo August 2, 2012 at 9:07 am

I love this post Tina. Your reflections ALWAYS speak to me because I really share such a similar view on change. As hard as it is sometimes and to understand, it is almost always (well, it IS always!) for the best, whether it feels that way at the start or not. I will definitely check out the reflections from North Point, I bet they are absolutely wonderful! XO

16 Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength August 2, 2012 at 9:15 am

It is a big deal to change places of worship. My husband and I went to a church that was an hour away (he even led worship, sang and played bass often) and we had to stop going so much once we had Connor because it was a full day affair. We have been trying to get better about going to a church locally, but it’s hard to adjust to the change. I totally hear you on this. Sounds like your new church is going to be a great fit for your family! XOXO

17 Ali @ Around the VeggieTable August 2, 2012 at 9:16 am

Beautiful post…this really lifted me up this morning. I am actually HOPING for some change in my life and just waiting for God to point me in the right direction. I feel like He has something special in store for me, but right now I have no idea what that is!

18 Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian August 2, 2012 at 9:18 am

I love this. I am very much the same – Type ‘A’ to a fault. I don’t like change, but I have to remember that my life has a path, and it may not be what I had planned for myself. I recently moved in with my boyfriend and while that was never really in my life plan, it seems to be the right move right now.

19 Heather August 2, 2012 at 9:21 am

Oh girl. Story of my current state right now. I haven’t share about it on my blog yet b/c I’m just not ready. But between a big change and these injuries I have found myself wondering why, and not fully trusting God like I should ad it has been tough. I hope you find a great place to fit in at your new church home!

20 Annie August 2, 2012 at 9:33 am

Love this post! It’s so true, I used to be a control-freak and if anything didn’t go as planned (especially food wise) I panicked/binged/cried for ages. I’m not like that anymore but old habits die hard!

The last two years have changed my life completely if not to say turned it upside down. When I started college despite my mom telling me I’d love it I swore I would never ever do law because it was for “others” and anyway I wanted to be in business. Well, guess what I’m doing now? Yep, starting my masters in corporate law this september! I also kept telling myself I would hate having a boyfriend and longterm relationship because I liked my own space, independence and comfort too much while secretly hoping that it would change some day. It did, and when i was least expecting too! The past two years have seen me go abroad for a year, change studies, get an amazing boyfriend and lovely new friends, oh and take up running too!

Why? I guess sometimes you just have to let go a little bit and allow life to take you to what it has planned.

21 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries August 2, 2012 at 9:50 am

I felt like I could have wrote this post! Change is hard, that’s for sure, but I look back at all of the big changes in my life, and those are the times that I grew the most. Cody and I have a lot of big changes coming ahead which are so scary and there’s so much unknown that go along with the changes, but all you can do is trust that God is right there by your side and jump in!

22 Eva @ committed2nutrition August 2, 2012 at 10:27 am

This was such an incredible post and hit home to me on so many levels. I had some major changes through an unexpected break up when I moved to boston to be w/ the guy… he broke up with me 3 days after I moved to be with him. Talk about the rug being taken out from under you!! the next two years in boston (I am from CT) were incredibly difficult, but I survived. I got through such a hard time and this change has been SO WORTH IT to be where I am now!!

23 Maria August 2, 2012 at 10:29 am

Great post, as usual, Tina. Thanks for speaking straight from the heart. Changing churches, especially after you have a church family, is a big deal and I applaud you for doing what’s right for you.

I’m scared of change, yet thrive on it at the same time. Change motivates me and breaks up the mundane day to day tasks, so sometimes I crave it. For the past year or so, I’ve been telling myself that I’m going to quit my job and find a job that’s better suited for me and makes me happy. I’ve had my resignation letter in hand and ready to go at times and I could never bring myself to do it. Why is it so hard to quit and change something that makes you unhappy? Easy answer: the routine. I know what each day will be like when I go into the office. I know that every two weeks, I’ll get a paycheck. Giving up this routine is so scary, but the more and more I get motivated to be happy in my job, the closer I get to making this huge change. Thanks for reminding me that it will all come out okay in the end!

24 Paige @ Your Trainer Paige August 2, 2012 at 11:27 am

I forget who said this, but hindsight is SO 20/20. The best we can do is trust and embrace it when it happens!

25 Tricia August 2, 2012 at 11:49 am

Having our second child was a huge change (and surprise!) to us a couple years ago. I love her dearly, but I still don’t know if I would have rocked the boat of our routine with our only child and made the decision to have another.

26 Jillian @ sprinkle massacre August 2, 2012 at 11:53 am

Great post. I have a huge change coming up in my life right now – I’m super nervous and I don’t know if it’s going to be exactly what I wanted, but I know I need to just embrace it, let it happen, and if it’s not right, life will work itself out!

27 Cat @ Breakfast to Bed August 2, 2012 at 12:35 pm

change is hard, but man is it worth it. Something about always knowing you’re walking on a balance beam in life, makes it seem more stable to be there.

28 Julia H. @ Going Gulia August 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Such a good post. I think I really started to realize how change can be good during college. During this time, there have been plenty of things that have happened that I never would have foreseen, but they’ve all brought me to where I am now–somewhere I’m very content with. One that comes to mind is that I joined a sorority sophomore year. I was always adamantly against being in a sorority, and only joined the one I’m in because it was new on my campus. Turned out to be one of the best decisions I made in college and changed everything for the better!

29 Kris @ Eclipsed August 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Oh, I am so jealous! I love, love, love our church home and know it is where God put us, but if I lived closer to Atlanta, we’d totally go to North Point. I love Andy Stanley!

30 Heather @ Better With Veggies August 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm

A change – I think sometimes that’s how we can see that God is working in our lives. Taking us in directions we would never expect! We have been to a few NorthPoint services in our past, it’s a great center and very biblically-based messages. I know making the switch had to be HUGE, so great that you followed where God was leading!

31 Katie August 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Change is SO hard for me as well. Josh just went and changed all of his work finances to a new bank – when he asked me to switch our personal stuff I had to tell him that I needed a couple of days before I was ready. WHAT A WEIRDO I AM! Changing banks? I mean, really. But – having been at the same bank for so long, I needed a day to get accustomed to the fact that we were moving. AND now that i’ve typed that out I feel like a bigger loser than I did before.

Josh and I go to First Baptist Woodstock, where Johnny Hunt preaches, but we have quite a few friends that go to NP and I watch online frequently. It seemed too far (30 minutes) for us to get super involved at NP, so when choosing our church home we found Woodstock. There is no one better than Andy Stanley! I know you will absolutely LOVE it there!

32 Sarah Kay Hoffman August 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Great post! I love the change quote at the beginning – gave it a pin. And by the way, “the only thing constant is change.” Embrace. God bless you :)

33 Allison @ Running Through Red Lights August 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Tina, this is a great post. I struggle so much with change, and often find myself fighting the battle between what I know is going to be best and what seems to be working right now. My husband and I went through some major changes with careers and moving three years ago, and then again last spring, and it’s all been for the best! At the time, it was hard and very much outside of my comfort zone, but we’re now finding that we’re settled in and adjusting to our “new” life.

34 Lauren @ Chocolate, Cheese and Wine August 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm

As someone that isn’t the biggest fan of change, I try to embrace that it is necessary in order to move forward. It’s definitely not easy, but I’m working on it.

35 Kierston August 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm

It if wasn’t for change, I wouldn’t be where I am today :)

36 Kelly August 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I repeat the mantra, “I will adjust” whenever I get nervous about upcoming change. I think the scariest part about change is the inability to see how it will all turn out. But by telling myself that I will adjust it makes me feel okay. We are highly adapatable creatures and we will adjust with the good and the bad.

37 Callie @ The Wannabe Athlete August 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm

I feel like I am the poster child for change these days. In the past few months we have 1) found out we’re pregnant, 2) I took a new job, 3) we moved to a new city, 4) we bought a house and…the newest doozy…5) my husband lost his job. God apparently is trying to teach me something about trusting Him through all the changes! The most amazing thing is that I have discovered is that even when the change seems unexpected and out of the blue for me, it’s part of a bigger (better) plan that He is orchestrating. It’s scary in the meantime, but exciting at the same time. Oh and I have several friends who attend North Point – and remember going to 7:22 while in college. Sounds like you’ve landed at a great place!

38 Talia @ Bite Size Wellness August 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I love a plan. I am the person that thinks months ahead about what I am going to be doing. I get semi-anxiety when things are “up in the air.” And then one day my husband and I uprooted ourselves to NYC (from Colorado) with no jobs, no plan and I SURVIVED. It is probably one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had and has taught me a lot about myself and embracing change. Love this post. Thanks for sharing!

39 purelymichelle August 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm

change is hard! I saw I am good at it, but I am not. I get used to how things are, but it is nice to be reminder of change. How it is good! I am going through a lot of changes right now that my emotions have been all over the place. Having a hard time focusing…so thank you for this! I know feel better that it will all work, just have to keep trusting God.

40 [email protected] for the Soul August 2, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Ohhh Tina!! You don’t know how strong I feel after reading this beautiful post! Your heart for God truly resonates with all of my heart’s desires…and I truly feel like God has put you in my life to constantly remind me that there are beautiful followers of Christ everywhere. I love the fact that this is about change! As I have been going through sooo many transitions! But through it all, through the times of being uncomfortable, the Lord reminds me that there’s a greater reason for it all–and it’s the fact that this ain’t mah hooooome! And I have a greater mission in life–to know Christ and make Him known. And that my friend, is uncomfortable at times but soo worth it. I love you love you sista! Keep on blessing others because you are planting earthquake seeds!

ps: His sense of humor is so crazy huh?! before I started my job search MONTHS ago, I asked Him to make it really apparent to me and direct my footsteps to the right job. To open and shut opportunities so that I’d know the right one. Well, lo and behold, NO ONE has been getting back to me! Even after all the follow-ups. :P But I’m cool with that.

41 tinareale August 3, 2012 at 8:44 am

God’s sense of humor always amazes me. And has even made me burst out laughing in the middle of crying out to Him because I see that He’s just doing His thing and still loving on me as crazy as things may get. Your faith inspires me. Love you, my sister in Him!

42 Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! August 2, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Amazing post, Tina – you are truly an inspiration!

43 Allison August 2, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Thanks so much for this post! I’m facing a lot of change in my life in the not-so-distant future, and it’s so easy to focus on the loss that comes with change. I need to remember that there are also lots of good things that come from change. Thanks for the reminder!

44 Bonnie August 3, 2012 at 12:04 am

Wow…what a beautiful, honest, real and relatable post, Tina! Change is so important, and I like to think that I’m good with change and roll with the punches (we’ve had our fair share), but it always throws me and takes me some time to adjust. But you’re right – we can trust our God! I appreciate you sharing so openly – we’re walking with you! :)

45 Karla August 3, 2012 at 8:54 am

I always find your posts so inspirational Tina! And, I always find myself coming back to your blog to re-read many of them.

I love this one! I always wonder why change is so hard for me. Even though I know that I need to change/accept change… it’s still hard.

Right now, I have a lot of changes that I am finding difficult. I am FINALLY fighting the eating disorder(s) that I have had for years (rather than just doing the therapy work, thinking about change, etc. I am finally living out recovery and acting on what I have learned). So… that means changing the way I eat, changing how I react to all of the ed thoughts telling me what to do, accepting the changes in my body, etc. SCARY!!!!

I am also about to resign from my job, which i’ve had for 8 years and I am nervous because altough i’ve never loved it people think I am crazy for leaving it because it has great benefits, great pay, and I get the summers off. And, I don’t have any idea what I am going to do. I feel super unqualified to do anything else but teach with a teaching degree. AHHH. SCARY!!!!

But…. despite the fear, I will TRUST GOD!!! I know that He has blessings for all of us!

46 Leonor @FoodFaithFitness August 3, 2012 at 10:01 am

You want to know how to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans! I never thought I would re-marry, have more children, and be a SAHM. Now we are not only church-goers, but involved in ministry, and lead studies at our home. God is so good!

47 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef August 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm

so true! and i totally get you on how hard it is leaving (and starting up again at) a church. tough stuff, but God is good & will be there always!

48 Christine @ Love, Life, Surf August 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm

This is a beautiful post Tina. I’m very similar in that I’m very much Type A and don’t usually like lots of change. However, I don’t know what it is but in the last year, I feel like I’m more open to embracing change rather than resisting it as a first instinct. Maybe it’s comes just from getting older or from starting to take care of myself more and realizing that change is an integral piece of that.

49 Bek @ Crave August 4, 2012 at 2:52 am

Somehow a diet turned into an eating disorder. And now I am trying to change that unplanned change! I am ready to start living, actually living! And it is bloody scary but I know it’s all for the best.

50 Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) August 5, 2012 at 7:03 pm

So many people are resistant to change out of fear of the unknown, but I think taking that leap of faith can often lead to such great things. You display that time and time again, and it’s so inspiring!

51 Elaine August 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Motherhood was a huge change for me that I was pretty uneasy about. However, now I can’t imagine my life without our little dude. Change is sometimes scary, but so rewarding too!

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