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My Body’s Testimony

Now that I’m on this wonderful journey of being healthy spiritually and physically, God has shown me why it is so important to allow my outside match the inside.

In 1 corinthians 9:27, Paul says, “I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

This verse hit home for me. I had not really connected that my physical appearance would be a testimony of my preaching but it most certainly is. I say to my child,”I must discipline you to instill good habits and good ways” yet I myself, am not disciplined in my ways to maintain a healthy body. I say to my children, “you need show self control over your body” yet I can’t seem to demonstrate self control, when my hand is headed to my mouth with food. I tell my children, “let’s not be lazy or a sloth” but I choose to be lazy and not get up to exercise. I say to others, “trust in God” but my stress eating is clearly out of lack of trust.

He revealed that even though my mouth spoke truth, my body spoke another truth, the truth of what was in my heart. I had allowed my physical body to try to disqualify me for the prize. I allowed it to be a hypocrite. I had held my comforter, food, as an idol in my life. I went to him and offered my body! I have been unfaithful to my faithful God!

However, in the Lord’s mercy and grace He has begun to fill my head with truth and weed my heart of lies that have ensnared me for so long. He has begun to take this broken and battered heart and body and transform it to his likeness from the inside out.

If you struggle with your body, I pray that you humbly come to feet of Jesus and ask him to reveal what is in your heart. Allow him to transform you so that you can be a true living sacrifice body and mind.

Scripture

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:24-27‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

https://www.bible.com/111/rom.12.1-2.niv

Daily Reminders

A Journey Towards Being Physically and Spiritually Healthy

I struggle deeply with stress eating and being physically unhealthy. Many would say, “you just have to get up and do it” and yes while that is true, I not only want to be healthy physically but I want to be healthy spiritually. God has been laying heavy on my heart about the connections between my physical health and my spiritual one and how both can effect the other.

I am not new to the health and wellness scene. Growing up I was very active in sports. Although I ate poorly, it didn’t matter much because I ran it all off. Once I quit the routine sports, my unhealthy eating habits caught up with me. It wasn’t until after my first son was born that I decided to quit making excuses and get back to healthy. I ended up dropping 75lbs in roughly 8 months through healthy eating and exercise. I continued to keep the weight off after my second child was born and then until my last trimesters of my third pregnancy. It was in that third trimester of the third child that my circumstances began to reveal some serious problems within my heart.

Well, I would love to tell you that I surrendered over to God and I went through my valley time having learned all that I needed and I came out better for it…but that wouldn’t be my story. No, I went through my valley kicking and screaming. I was stressed and I blamed any and everything for it. Instead of surrendering, I held on to my ways and I paid dearly for it within my own body. The more time passed the more miserable I became and every issue began showing up in my body. I then got pregnant with our 4th child and the baby weight just added onto the issue.

Instead of turning to God about my stress I just self medicated with food. The endorphins that were released, when I ate, took the edge off an otherwise crazy day of raising and homeschooling kids. In other words, I had turn to food as my comforter rather than my God.

However, over the last few months, God walked me back into that familiar valley I had once walked. The pressure was on and the stress of my life heightened. My body began to severely suffer. My hair started to thin, I gained 10lbs in a matter of months and the scariest for me, my “female body clock” began to malfunction and be delayed. That’s when I took one long and hard look in the mirror at myself. I did not like what I saw physically but I knew my physical problems were only manifestations of my spiritual issues. Even more, I was sickened at the thought of my daughters looking into the mirror and being frustrated and miserable with their bodies, because of a sin I had not surrendered over myself, so that I could teach them a new way.

So begins my health journey. Not so much a weight loss journey, because that will come in the end, but a journey towards honoring God with my body, heart and mind.

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The Rhythm of Life

This morning, the Lord gave me a beautiful visualization for the need for rest in my home.

Our life, is like a single instrument within an orchestra. We each have our individual pieces to play through the spirit. The Lord is the composer and conductor. The sheet music the word of God and the spirit the musician. Although, we have the sheet music laid before us we must keep our eyes on the conductor to keep us at the right tempo. Our daily lives are apart of this larger rhythm. We have periods of notes played but we also have periods of rest. The rest although no note is played, is crucial in development of the song. We will play high notes and we will play low notes, we will play long and slow and holding a note that seems to take an eternity but other days we will play so quickly it seems we are falling behind, but then in the midst of our day and our notes we will have the crucial rest.

We must keep our eyes on the conductor not letting our gaze be distracted by our fellow instruments or the crowd (the world) watching us. We must allow the spirit to draw the notes from us allowing the highs, lows and rests so that a beautiful sound is produced. If we take control and remove our eyes from the conductor, we will become lost within rhythm always a step behind or too far ahead. We will miss the crucial rest and become frustrated in the long and low notes and speed through the high notes.

Then there are the days you will seem to feel as though your piece to play is inconsequential. That your few notes or your rests are of no value but even in a great composition the rests build suspense and the loud clang of cymbal or soft trill of a violin that breaks the silence can alter the entire perspective for those listening and watching the beautiful piece unfold.

So dear friends, wherever you may be within the composition study your sheet music and keep your eyes upon the conductor. Allow the Lord to draw the beautiful notes from you so you can see your part in the greater piece being played.

“Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭33:1-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Daily Reminders

The Beauty in Scars

The Lord has taught me a lot about healing recently. This past year has been a series of ups and downs for me spiritually and emotionally. One of the latest things he has pointed out to me is the beauty within a scar.

Scars tend have a bad connotation. A reminder of hurt or pain that we would like to forget but what if we viewed scars in another light?

The Lord gave me eyes to see the state of myself spiritually. I drew a figure of a person and I placed a slash mark on the body for every wound that I felt had been inflicted that tied a lie to my mind. When I looked at the picture, tears welled up in my eyes. I might have thought I had drawn myself but what I drew was Christ. Every slash across him someone else’s sin. Every slash across him my sin. Every slash across the figure my sin spewing out across my children and husband.

He showed me however, my wounds are different. Some of my wounds are scarred over and infection is underneath. I had forgiven the original hurt but I had allowed a lie of who I was become an infection; That when current hurt brushes across these wounds that mimic the original, I spew my most vile self. The vile self that continues to inflict wounds onto others.

But, the Lord is not just a diagnostician he is The Great Physician. He not only tells me what is wrong, he has the power to heal it. He will have to cut away the wrong thinking and infection and will poor into my wounds wine (his blood) and oil (his spirit- the word) to clean and protect so they can heal properly.

He did remind me that there will be scars left but I have a choice in the way I can view these scars. I can either view them and see who and what hurt me or I can view them and see who healed me. I, like so many out there can view the scars left as a badge of the healing we have received in Christ as a testimony of his power and healing or we can view them only seeing the sin of others and the lies attached.

Although, I have many infected scars and wince at the idea of the discomfort of the cleaning, I am only hopeful of the healing that will come. Through His wounds we are healed.

Scripture

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭53:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.”

‭‭John‬ ‭20:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.””

‭‭Mark‬ ‭2:17‬ ‭

Daily Reminders

Truths and Lies about Rest

I struggle with rest. I struggle with what rest is and what it is not. These are the things that God has taught me about rest:

Lies about Rest

– Rest is selfish (there is work to be done and you should be working)

– Rest is a weakness or a lack of Spiritual Maturity

– Rest only comes when we complete all of our tasks.

– Rest looks only one way for all people

Truths about Rest

– Sabbath means to cease or to rest

– Resting is righteous and is holy

– Rest is necessary and needed

– Rest is from God and is done through Him

– It is done in conjunction with prayer, meditation on the word of God and abiding in Christ (staying connected throughout your day with Christ)

– God rested Christ rested

– It is purposeful and productive

– Rest is an intentional slow down of life and a stepping away from the everyday work.

What Rest does

– It restores

– It protects from being overwhelmed and chronic stress

– It is an opportunity for reflection and gratitude.

– It causes more fruit to be produced

– It gives new perspective to current circumstances

– It lends in trusting God’s divine timing by stepping away from the need to complete it all in a rush.

What Rest Does Not Do

– It is not an escape from current circumstances

– It does not change current circumstances

– It does not give you the freedom to step out of God’s will

– It is not a license to be lazy or idol

– It is not a cure all

Rest is a necessary thing for our spiritual and physical health. God the father and Christ himself modeled rest for us. Rest can look different from person to person. It may be something done in solitude or it could be found in a gathering of people. You may be in a season of life like myself, where rest may be taken in small sections daily, either way it all has the same elements. It is done with intentional purpose through God and with Him for the restoration of our mind and body so that we may be able to persevere and continue in on the work that lies before us. “Rest” outside of the eternal mindset will only produce a delay from current circumstances and leave you with discontentment of those circumstances and is not true Rest at all.

Scripture

“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭23:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

““Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭20:8-11‬ ‭

“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭5:15-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.””

‭‭Mark‬ ‭6:31‬ ‭NIV‬‬

““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.””

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭NIV‬‬

““For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what is left. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove. “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭23:10-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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Hope of Glory

Hope of Glory

Oh Lord, your precious blood covers me.

I am made blameless and holy.

Through me, your light shines.

I am yours and you God are mine.

Although you prepared it, I walk a path I do not know

But always trusting the way you lovingly show.

Until the day I see your face,

Hope of Glory, I will cling, always through your grace.

Daily Reminders

Practical Advice on Parenting

  • 1.)When life is too busy or you are overwhelmed:
  • Stop-Slow down- Abide

    Stop– whatever you are doing and the route you are taking

    Slowdown– all mental processes (what you have to get done, how this going to effect this or that etc.)

    Abide– Trust God is working, stay connected to him through his word and let go of control.

    ““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

    ‭‭John‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    2.) Remember what he has called you to do and what he has NOT called you to do

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

    ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    3.) Remember that small faithful steps in obedience leads to great faith.

    “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.”

    ‭‭James‬ ‭2:22‬ ‭NIV

    4.) Go on walks with your children

    Walking beside another person slows down life so doors may be open for conversations that are missed in the everyday busyness of life. Take the time to stop and look at the world God created. Admire its diversity and beauty. Allow your children to question and wonder. Tie in God’s majesty to the world they are experiencing as they walk. Walks are a representation of our walk with Christ. We may travel the same route each day but each walk brings new experiences and new lessons. Some days it is a daunting task to walk and others, a joy.

    Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

    ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭11:18-19‬ ‭NIV‬‬