It wasn’t the best part . . . great, yes, but the not best.
Today someone who’d seen the picture on my blog of the three stages of Paula asked what I thought was best was about losing weight. He said, “I’m sure your clothes fit better and it’s easier to look in the mirror.”
My mind went immediately to when Sarah told the Facebook world I was working to lose weight. She wrote that she’d watched me take care of my inner Paula but commented that never in her 21 years had she seen me give attention to the outer me.
Talk about convicted! God made me to be a whole person, not just a soul. And while it’s true that “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7), it’s also true that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” on the outside, too. And this weight loss experience, this wandering through the neighborhood in an attempt to shed pounds has given me a new way to connect with God.
I love walking, the sunshine on my face, the blue sky above. I love staring up into the trees. Here I connect with him. I have rambling conversations. I am quiet in my soul, away from distraction, seeking to be attuned to His leading.
And I sense He is making me strong for a reason. He needs my body lighter, more functional, more energetic for where we are going next. Right after my car accident I was angry because it was so hard for me to read or write in my journal. I’d mostly connected with God that way, the reading of Scripture, the writing of prayers, the listening for His response and recording it. But now I’m grateful He’s revealed Himself in a new way, a way that is connecting the dots between body and soul.
Real Time Update:
January of this year was a continuous picking up of the balls I dropped after the car accident. I felt it was time to return to real life, even though I wasn’t fully functional. It’s now March, and I’m pushing hard, trying to get everything done and still cleaning up messes from things neglected for six months (oh, and then there’s the wedding).
Every day I fight the very real battle for what I wrote about above–the nurturing of my body and spirit. Schedules are demanding. I lose sight of the joy the exercise and the communion of walking brings. Last week I walked about 7 miles, but was only out there twice. This week I’m trying to get outside even if I only have brief time spans to utilize. In two days I walked about 3 and a half miles, not 7, but I didn’t skip my time. My spirit seems to need closer to 3 or 4 miles to truly unwind and commune, but even a mile helps my body and attitude. I need to get out there no matter the time available, but I also need to find those longer, rambling times for my soul.
I’m not perfect at all this. Sometimes taking care of my physical and spiritual self seems overwhelming. I know it’s all about choice. And I’m tryin’.
What About You?
How do you prioritize nurturing your physical and spiritual self?