Categories
Faith Goals

Sticks and Stones

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

This might be the biggest lie that we teach children. Words wound deeply and can stick with us for years.

I was pondering this on my way to teach P.E. to 5th-8th graders the other day. My first class of the day is 6th grade and my son is in that class. Trying to be funny about not liking the activity we were doing, he said something that hit on my biggest insecurity and took the wind out of my sails. Words hurt.

I’ve seen people I trusted say hurtful things about my family, labeling and accusing, demeaning and laying us bare. Words that cut deeply and left us raw and exposed. Words that are still trying to heal. Words hurt.

I’ve watched my daughter’s anxiety rise as a result of the careless words spoken impulsively by kids she considered her friends. Words hurt.

Words can also heal.

I’ve watched my daughter radiate joy when her brother compliments her on something she has done that is really important to her. Words heal.

I’ve watched my son’s chest expand and smile return as his dad praises his performance and tells him how proud his is of him. Words heal.

I’ve felt acknowledged and affirmed when a new friend has shown genuine care and asked to spend time with me. Words heal.

How are you using your words? Are you using them to lift someone up and encourage them or are you using them to bring others down?

I’m working to pause before speaking and keeping harsh words to myself, because I know how words can hurt.

And I’m choosing to tell someone every day something affirming and encouraging, because I know how words can heal.

“Kind words are like honey — sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24, NLT

Categories
Health and Wellness Self-care

My Wish For You

I talk a lot about wellness and taking care of your bodies. This isn’t just a passing phase or hobby…it is truly my heart and what I care about, not just for myself, but for the people around me. I heard someone say recently, “I want die young at an old age.” And that is my wish for you: to live a full life – healthy and thriving – until an old age. I want you to get the most out of life. This requires you to take care of yourself…and not just physically.

True wellness (or total fitness) is physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social, and environmental. I hope that through my blog, you’ve been able to see some of my journey in each of these areas and have encouraged you in your quest for wellness as well.

So here is my wish for you…

Physically: that you would find ways to move you body that bring you joy; that you would fuel your body with good foods and use quality supplements to fill that gap; that you would give you body the rest it needs to heal and replenish; that you would take care of your body so that you can thrive each day.

Emotionally: that you would be able to process through your feelings — whether with a friend or a professional — and find healing and hope; that you would grow in empathy and kindness.

Mentally: that you would find solutions to your problems and learn to process through all the information thrown at you to determine what is worth listening to and what should be ignored.

Socially: that you would have fulfilling relationships with others; that you would be a good friend; that you would find ways to serve and care for those around you.

Environmentally: that you would choose products that are free are harmful chemicals and toxins; that you would be wary of what you put in and on your body.

Spiritually: that you would run to Jesus and know him as your Lord and Savior; that you would see God working in the good and the bad and know that he loves you, sees you, and cares for you; that you would experience growth in your faith in God and love for others; that you would be filled with a peace and contentment and joy that makes no sense to the rest of the world.

My prayer and my desire for you is to find true and total health. That is what “wellness” means to me.

Categories
Faith Family

Grateful

“I just wanna say that I’m grateful for all of the ways you’ve never left me behind. Oh how irresponsible is your love. I just want to praise your name for all of the ways you keep chasing my heart. Oh how irresponsible is your love.” Irresponsible by JUDAH

“Yeah, I’m thankful. Scratch that, baby, I’m grateful. Gotta say it’s really been a while, but now I’ve got back that smile. I’m so thankful. Scratch that, baby, I’m grateful. Gonna see me smiling from a mile, finally got back that smile.” Smile by Katy Perry

Gratitude is a choice. It’s choosing to be thankful even in the hard…especially in the hard. Life is not always easy, but when we live a life full of gratitude, we are able to appreciate all the good things that God has done and see that the blessings far outweigh the struggle.

The past 18 months have a been a challenge for many families, mine included. While 2020 was filled with a lot of physical pain (son’s broken arm and surgery, sister’s broken ankle, niece hospitalized with mono, etc.), 2021 has been a struggle spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. But God, in his awesomeness and lovingkindness, is doing great things in my life and my family.

Sometimes it takes really hard stuff to move us in the direction God wants us to go. Sometimes God uses the hard to cut the ties that anchor us to where we are. God has worked in my life and my family’s life in incredible ways recently. Are we still wounded and hurting from the struggle? Of course. But God is healing and mending our hearts and doing a mighty work.

Just like God used the hardships and craziness in Joseph’s life to save Israel, God has used this time to bring redemption and sustenance to my soul. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” Genesis 50:20 NLT

How is God using the hard in your life to bring you into his blessings? When I’m tempted to focus on the past and the hurt, I choose to focus on the present and count my blessings…grateful for all the good God is doing and continues to do in my life.