I am an advocate for self-improvement and self-care. This is no secret. I recently got my tail back to the gym and I felt better. I got one of those Fitbit things, I have walked more miles than I ever have in my life, and I am tracking my macros like they’re a tropical storm. The kids have even exercised with me!
I have felt great. My body feels more energetic and strong. My jeans are starting to fit better. My boys are being chased harder in games of tag and I can shop like a champ with the girls. Simply by putting the right things in my body and burning the bad stuff out, I’m a better me.
Self-care and self-improvement doesn’t stop at fitness or even books I read. That effort isn’t solely for business endeavors and reaching personal goals. My faith, my prayer life, and my relationship with God are all part of that too.
When I put the right things in and I get all the bad stuff out, my life tends to be a lot happier. I have a friend that inhales God and exhales self and I love that. The deep breathing, that release of self, makes total sense to me and I’m calmed just by writing that mantra.
Another friend reminds me that life happens and pain is inevitable, but misery is optional. I give myself a lot more time to care for myself when I leave the dealing to God. That misery is optional and by giving that burden and hardship to God, I have a lot less of it.
Ever had to deal with a difficult person or situation and feel like they sucked every bit of joy out of you? My advice: sic God on ’em. Use your time to live the life God intended for you to have. Live out your purpose.
My attitude and view of life are like Fitbits to my spiritual health. I can usually go back and see what I put into myself, or what I allowed to be put into my spirit, and how much I tried to burn out of me. If I’m negative about something, there is a good chance that I’m harboring resentment, or exhausted by a problem, or trying to control something that is not my own.
I work on my spiritual health in a lot of ways. I read several devotionals and scriptures every single morning. Yes, at 5:00am that is the first thing I do. I write down what I am grateful for. I pray outloud to God on my way to work.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
If I am walking into a tricky situation with a troublesome person, I try to find empathy. I try to think of a time that this person made me grateful or that they were kind. I hold onto that and it helps me to work better with that person. I realize that sometimes God’s subtraction is actually addition. I trust that He will take from me what I cannot carry much like He will remove toxic relationships I was not strong or wise enough to end myself.
I have what I have because God saw fit to give it to me, so I better find some gratitude because someone reading this may have a lot more pain than I do. If it is you, God is here with you. I feed my spirit goodness by falling in love with every person in my home at least once a day and I am telling you some days that alone burns about 700 calories! They’re not always charming (and neither am I). I listen to Christian radio. I youtube Christian speakers.
No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
My soul’s fitness is maintained through service, devotion, and worship and I’ll admit that it has been hard to come by these days. I have been stuck in self and we are struggling as a family to agree on a new church. I have allowed hardships to distract me from God’s goodness. I have seasons of amazing spiritual health and seasons of dessert sand and tumbleweeds inside of me.
The best thing I have done for my physical, mental, and spiritual health is to be intentional. I don’t just do something, I commit to it. I live it. I remind myself of my reason for doing it in the first place. It makes it feel a lot less like work. Sometimes my spirit needs to be the one grabbing the dumbbells. In the meantime, I will be watching my Fitbit.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.