Tag Archives: nurturing spirit

Spirit Seeker Sunday 8

Spirit 12 stephen

Let His Spirit move you like water in a stream. Fresh. Flowing. Bubbling. (Photo by Stephen Moldenhauer)

“I am made to live the reality of God’s promises.”

Wow, Lysa, do you have to step on my toes every time? 

Such were my thoughts as I read through Day 9 of the Made to Crave Devotional. It was a few months ago, but I thought I’d share my reaction. You might relate to what I wrote then:

Here’s the honest truth. I’m struggling today. Fighting to focus on God’s promises, to believe His heart for me in the midst of disappointments and stresses. And somehow that all snowballs into not wanting to care about my eating choices. I did a lot of compromises today–eating without being mindful. Eating because I was in a bad mood instead of because I slowed down, thought it through, and chose what to eat.

What’s bugging me as I read today’s devotional is how hard my heart can be even as I read one of my favorite verses, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10).

Oh, Lord! You have given me blessing upon blessing. You have cared for me, showered me with your love, met my needs time and time again. Yet I so quickly let my heart harden, throw my little temper tantrums when things don’t go the way I want, and forget that abundance is from you. I forget all that destroys is not of your hand at all. Forgive me for my lack of faith, for listening to the lies of the enemy, for neglecting instead of embracing all the abundant, life-giving facets of my relationship with you. Come! Fill me with your hope! Take the blinders off my eyes so that I can see the abundance and have life and live it to the full!

Jesus, help me to live in the reality of your promises, not the weakness of compromise.

As I process where I was a few months ago, a couple of thoughts come to mind. The first is how my weakness in compromising, my decision to eat mindlessly to fill emotional pain, is of itself a tool of the one who destroys.

How twisted is that? I reach for food because I’m not looking to the Giver of Good Gift. As I fill my body with what it doesn’t need, my emotions don’t get a bit better. But I play right into the destruction of my goals and of the abundant life God wants to give me by leading me to a physically and emotionally healthier place.

The second thought that comes to mind is how even after days like the one I described, there is victory. Turning to Jesus, one day at a time. Choosing not to let a bad day or two stretch into a bad month or two. Reaching for God’s hand up each time I fall, forgiving myself, and getting back on the road to victory. That’s something easier to see as I write this post now in June. The victory is in my physical health, my new clothes size, and on the scale.

I think it’s in my heart, my mind, and my spirit, too. I think I’m learning to look to God, not food. To press on in hardship. To stand a little taller in my identity as one He loves.

I still trip up sometimes. I probably always will. But the new behavior is becoming more natural and so I choose the path forward one step at a time.

How about you?

What does living in the promises verses the compromises mean in every day life and in weight loss?

Are you intentional about looking to Jesus instead of food to fill those empty places?

Can you forgive yourself when you blow it, reach for God’s hand, and get back on the path to healing?

Sharing:

What does it look like to live in the reality of promise, not compromise?

On the Outside, Too (Weight Loss Journey Day 72)

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.

walking 1

At the park

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.

walking 2 - Copy

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?