It was cold and overcast this morning. I woke up before my alarm went off and did not want to get out of bed. Monday, here again, already. I hadn’t slept well and wasn’t feeling great when I woke up, but I was looking forward to a nice hot cup of coffee and some time in the Word. I read through week 8 of The Wellness Revelation® as we are wrapping up our time together in my 8-week Reset group this week. For the past 8 weeks, I have once again been learning the delight in discipline. Delight in discipline. It sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Why on earth would we delight in discipline of any kind?
Delight in Discipline
As I’ve been journeying through The Wellness Revelation® with my group for the past 8 weeks, it has been amazing what the Lord is teaching me and showing me. One of the biggest things is this idea of delighting in discipline. In terms of self-control it looks like choosing foods that are going to fuel my body in the best way possible. No counting calories and not to be skinny. The end goal is not to lose weight. The goal is to have the energy I need to fulfill the purpose and calling God has on my life. One of those things is homeschooling my children. Something I love and wouldn’t trade unless the Lord asked me to! I need energy for that.
Working out is not ‘my jam’ if ya know what I mean. I am not a gym rat. Ironic as it is because I am a certified Revelation Wellness® instructor. However, I have learned how much better I feel mentally and emotionally from working out, especially when the Word of God is being spoken over you while you workout! It’s a stress reliever. I feel strong. It gives me energy and I know I did something good for myself! Do I always want to do it? Nope. Nada. On those days I say, “20 minutes. I can do 20 minutes.”
We have this saying in Rev, “Move in love.” What does that mean to me? It means moving my body because I am able, I’m capable, I can! God has given me a GOOD body! It works, and it works well! It’s carried and birthed 5 babies! That’s just amazing to me! I’m able to workout not worrying about if I’m crushing it. That is not my goal; my goal is to train my body, not have 6-pack abs or a thigh gap. It’s not longer about punishing my body for not looking a certain way or eating those cookies last night or making sure I burn enough calories to make sure I’m losing weight. Been there, done that, and it wasn’t fun.
Training in Godliness
Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 4:8, ‘For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” This is why I am no longer concerned with my size of jeans or the number on the scale. I ask myself the question: If I am truly training in godliness, should I not also be training my physical body? I want to care for my body because it is the only one have. It is my vehicle for spreading the gospel. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and I want to care for it properly.
One of my goals for this year was to not put my body before my spirit. I used to get up early in the morning and workout first thing to “Get it over with!” It wasn’t my get-to. Working out still felt like a have-to for me. Now, I make sure my quiet time comes first. Period. My day needs to start the right way, and that is with the nourishment my soul needs. I’m not guilting or shaming if you don’t do this! I knew for myself, it’s what needed to be done. I needed to surrender how I think my physical body should look by putting God first and foremost.
It’s easy for me to fall in the ditch of neglect or obsess when it comes to my body. So quickly I can say, “I had a cookie. I give up. I’m done. This isn’t working!!!!” Or, I swing the other way where I want to count every morsel that goes into my mouth, every calorie burned in my workout, to make sure that what I am doing is going to get me the results I want. My heart needs to stay in check when it comes to the “why” of my workouts and eating habits.
Training my Taste Buds
The other day I was eating a salad, a new recipe in fact, that included ingredients that I really don’t enjoy unless they are hidden and disguised: tomatoes and avocados. Before I ate, I prayed and asked the Lord to change my taste buds. I know those are both good foods for me! But my taste buds…. they don’t agree! My prayer was simple, but very heartfelt: God, I want to enjoy foods that are good for me. I want to nourish my body so that I can better serve you. Help me to enjoy this meal today. Thank you for giving me good and nourishing foods that fuel my body well.
You know what? This was delicious! I so enjoyed it! It was a lesson in the delight of discipline for me. My heart was in the right place. I wasn’t eating this to get skinnier or lose weight. I ate it because it was real food that would give me the energy I need to get done what needed to get done. If I can’t train myself to nourish my body the right way, I believe, I will struggle to discipline myself spiritually. One is of some value (our bodies) while the other is of the utmost value (godliness).
The Result: Freedom
Finally, I’m finding freedom. Freedom in my food choices, even when they aren’t the best. There is no more on and off “the wagon” of dieting but a ride on the freedom train. Freedom to move in love and not out of punishment. The freedom to be disciplined and self-controlled. I’m learning to let the Spirit guide me and lead me when it comes to my health. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17. I have fully given over my health journey to the Lord, trusting Him, honoring Him with my body, asking Him to do the heart work that will lead to the discipline of my body.
It starts in our hearts. We all have our own junk we are carrying around. There are reasons I turn to food for comfort. God has been good and kind and patient as I have slowly released control and let Him do a work in my life. He’s not afraid of my ‘stuff.’ Actually, He’s waiting for me to say, “Here, you can have it. I’m done trying to fix it all myself.” Am I losing weight? I don’t know. Most days I don’t even care. But if I am, it is because God is doing a heart work in me. He is changing my desires. These changes are from the inside out, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.