Converging Paths (another walking reference)

Since leaving my last job outside of our home, I’ve been intentionally focused on God’s calling on my life – walking and writing and women’s ministry.  Being at home is rather unstructured and provides me the opportunity to have the ministry of availability again, which I love.  I’m available to help my family.  I’m available to help friends.  I’m available to volunteer to help my community.  I’m available to God, to obey and follow His agenda for my life.

As I want His calling to be primary, I sometimes need to say no to other requests.  Lately I’ve taken on too much and have put myself in over my head.  I’m behind.  My “work” has piled up and my spinning plates are dropping all around me.  My stress level is a bit too high.   Time to get refocused and back on track.  Time to make some room on the calendar for God again.  Time to tell myself it is ok to make God a priority.  Satan wants me to feel guilty about saying no to “good things” and “letting people down”.

At church this past week, a sister in Christ approached me with a calling of her own.  God has been prompting her to reach out to our congregation with teaching about bodily stewardship.  Releasing us from bondage to food.  From bondage to unhealthy lifestyle choices and failing health.  We are just taking the first steps to a path where our callings are converging.  I love how God works!  His timing is perfect!

So part of my writings will include encouraging others to pursue God in the area of healthy choices.  Part of my women’s ministry vision for next year will be building a culture of healthy living to glorify God.  Let’s take a look at what God says about our bodies and how, and why, we are to care for them, deny them, and control them.

As women, we often are forced into neglecting our own bodies.  Everyone else’s demands on our time are more important.  It seems scriptural at first – put the needs of others above your own.  We are so busy taking care of others and our homes that there is precious little time and energy to think about what God needs from us long term.  We’re dealing with the most urgent issues for today and trying to keep everyone healthy, alive and sane! We’re busy teaching them the ways of the Lord.   We already are wearing so many hats.  Adding nutritional guru and physical trainer to the list is asking a lot.  It is a busy season in life no doubt, but that is no excuse for missing part of God’s calling on our lives – offering our physical bodies as a living sacrifice – our physical act of worship.  Being good stewards of the body that He has knitted together for us to do His good work and build His kingdom.

As I am just emerging from this season, I’ve found my body worn out, overweight, out of shape, old and broken.  This is where God met me with His call for me to walk the Camino de Santiago.  (He has a great sense of humor!)  Apparently I taught my daughters that the “ways of the Lord” include neglecting self-care.  I pray that they will learn from their mama’s failure and do better!

So God has placed me on a path that took an immediate U turn.  His call requires that I undo the past two decades (or more) of oh so slowly declining health in a short two year period.  I must not only renew my mind but also my body.  Only through Him is this possible.  Now He’s sent His own body (my church) to come along side me and walk with me down this path.  I have sisters who are walking and encouraging me along the way (thank you girls!) and who are holding me accountable for my choices.  Sisters who are willing to sit and listen to my excuses and tell me the truth!  God bless them!  Sisters who are fighting their battles right along with me.

So we’re off.  Off to learn about good food – God’s food, not man’s processed junk.  How our bodies digest foods and how it affects our energy level.  How we can honor God best by being in shape to do the good work that He has for us.  How He desires that we fill our needs with Him and not chocolate (oh…that’s just me).   We must learn how to feed our families well.  To train them up knowing how to make good choices and to live in self-control so that God is glorified.  We must put off our old self (literally and physically for me) and to put on the new self that is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its creator.  Amen, and Amen!

So taste and see that the Lord is good.  He is the bread of life!

Be encouraged.  Share your journey.  Encourage one another.  Press on!

1 Timothy 4.7

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