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.

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

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

    Lessons

    Finding Purpose In The Fire

    Jeremiah 18:1-12

    Sometimes, God leads us into seasons of life with situations and circumstances that drive us to confront emotions we might try to bury otherwise. I find myself in one of these seasons. In this season, anger and frustration drives me to my knees in front of the Lord almighty. At times, I try to squelch my emotions buy burying them and holding my tongue but this is not what the Lord desires. It is not self control but avoidance of confrontation. If I bury what the Lord uses to draw me near to Him I only bring destruction on myself from within. Knowing I am powerless in my situation, I seek after the one who has all the power. He causes me to confront Him with my big emotions. He draws out of me what is really going on in my heart and brings it to the surface. I hate it but I am grateful for it. It is painful but yet it is comforting. At times though, I fight against the pressure of His mighty hand and I cry out why must you keep me here but He reminds me it is for my good. For if there was no kneading of the clay, a pot could not be formed and I would remain a useless lump.

    I do not enjoy the pains of the kiln burning away my impurities. I do not delight in the pain of the surrounding pressure of life in order to drive me to the Lord but I am thankful. I can find joy in my sufferings because it is not a waste in the hands of the almighty. He forms life out of death, creation from nothingness. He uses these emotions to cultivate a heart and mind aligned with his by drawing out what hinders me. It is a comfort to know, that my God is bigger than my situations and my emotions. It is humbling to be reminded that He is more concerned with my holiness than my happiness.

    Supporting Scripture

    “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭64:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

    ‭‭James‬ ‭1:2-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Lessons

    A Dream Interpreted

    Genesis 3:1-6

    This morning I was woke up by a strange dream. I immediately went into prayer to understand it’s meaning.

    In the dream, there was a husband and a wife. The wife had lost her husband in a crowd for a time and went to look for him. Once she found him, the husband began to confess that he had cheated on her. As they walked along a path to leave the place she found him, she realized that the situation was graver than merely being unfaithful. The husband had raped and murdered a woman.

    The wife began to become panicky and saw someone burning the clothes of the murdered woman and she thought “yes, I can fix this for him.” As she watched the clothes burn, she knew she could not save him from this terrible sin. She walked over to her husband, who was beginning to hyperventilate because his eyes were opening to the truth of his sin and how devastating it was, and knelt down. She told him I forgive you because although you have hurt me you have hurt yourself far greater.

    After praying about this crazy dream and reading my devotional , God gave me clarity. He used the account of Adam and Eve and the deception of Satan. Satan deceives Eve into sinning. He tempted her by using logic to sin against God. He downplayed the consequences of her actions and made the sin all that more appealing. Eve gave in and then gave the fruit to Adam. They sinned against God and it hurt God deeply but the true hurt was laid upon them. Their actions separated them from their loving creator, they lost their home and had to live in a harsh land. They were destined to die. Before they sinned, they did not understand its magnitude and what effect it would have.

    As sinners, we are blind to our sin against God. It is when the Holy Spirit convicts us, that He begins to show us just how devastating our actions truly are. When we have been sinned against, it is painful and it hurts but the one who sinned against us is in worse shape. Their heart is not in the right place and they are deceived in believing what they did is justified.

    At times, we may want to save those who we love from the consequences of their sin but we cannot. We are unable to make a heart right or make the blind see. We do however have the ability to forgive in Christ because Christ has forgiven us.

    We are the murders. Our sin placed Christ on the cross and rather Him condemning us He saved us and forgave us. At a time, we too were blind to our own sin and it wasn’t until the Spirit opened our eyes to our ways that we began to see the truth.

    Whether you are the one sinning, or the one being sinned against we must all go to Christ for forgiveness. Allow Him to wipe your slate clean through his redemptive blood or give you the strength to forgive so bitterness does not take root.

    Supporting Scripture

  • “When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:” John 16:8
  • “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.” Isaiah‬ ‭35:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬
  • “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:3-4‬
  • “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” Romans‬ ‭8:7-8‬ ‭
  • ““He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”” 1 Peter‬ ‭2:24‬ ‭
  • “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians‬ ‭4:32‬ ‭
  • “And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ).”
  • Mark‬ ‭15:34‬
  • Lessons

    Brining Our Marriages and Families to the Threshing Floor

    Book of Ruth

    This morning while I was reading my devotional, the story of Ruth came to mind, specifically the phrase Kinsman Redeemer. I read the book of Ruth and asked God to teach me what he wanted me to learn.

    To quickly paraphrase the book, Ruth followed her mother in law, Naomi, back to her homeland after all the men of their family had passed away. They were left without children to carry the men’s name and land to pass down. They hoped for a Kinsmen Redeemer would take notice and redeem the family name and land. In the mean time, Ruth, who was a woman of nobel character, began to glean (pick up the left overs) the fields of a man named Boaz. Turns out, Boaz was a kinsmen redeemer. He saw Ruth’s hard work and had heard of her character. He showed favor to Ruth by allowing her to follow his servant girls so she would be under his protection. Ruth was able to bring back enough grain to Naomi from her hard work and his favor. Naomi, knowing that Boaz was a kinsmen redeemer, told Ruth to go to Boaz at the threshing floor (a place where wheat was separated from the plant) and wait until he fell asleep and then lie down at his feet and wait. Ruth did as she suggested. When Boaz awoke and saw her there he commended her for her noble character and that she did not chase after younger men poor or wealthy but chose him. He then bought Naomi’s and Ruth’s land and married Ruth redeeming both women and the family land and legacy.

    First, God showed me that we are Ruth. We may be married and have families but in time hurt might have been incurred or tragedy struck and they feel broken and dead. He showed me even though we may strive to know him and do what is right, sacrifice for our marriages and our family we do not have the ability to redeem them.

    We often times, find ourselves in the fields picking up the leftovers of these marriages and families to try to make it through. We work diligently to provide we sacrifice for them but it still only brings in barely enough. We end up never actually partaking in the true harvest of blessing God desires for us.

    It is when God calls us to lay at his feet on the threshing floor is when we will begin to experience the change. We must lay down all we have and allow him to do his work separating the good from the bad. In this stage, I find myself a little fearful. I, at times, am worried what would become of all that I have if he begins to pick it apart. What pain would I have to endure, while he does his work in me, my marriage and family so that we could benefit from the blessing. But that is the thing, all that I have is from His field. The threshing floor is a necessary place in order to experience the bounty of the harvest of blessing. On the threshing floor is where God does his work and redeems his people.

    We lay at his feet under his mercy and his grace as he does his work in our lives. We will find favor in Him, those who have chosen Him over the trappings of this world. He will recognize us and he will redeem our families and our marriages. Through his redemption, He doesn’t move backwards to make what was but he makes something new with him. He takes us, our marriages and families as His and allows us to share in His true harvest.

    Have you found yourself gleaning his fields? Working hard but barely having enough? Or has he called you to the threshing floor? To surrender it all so that He may separate what is good and what is bad. Allow Christ to be your Kinsman Redeemer for your family and marriage. Lay them at his feet on the threshing floor so he may do his work so you can share In His harvest.