SARAH PATCH

 
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Budget your mental and emotional energy wisely.
Just as our bodies have a limited amount of physical energy to dispense before being recharged, we have limited amounts of mental and emotional energy to spend at one time. We need to use these reservoirs wisely! One of the poorest uses of our limited mental and emotional energy is worrying.

Suppose it costs “30 points” of mental and emotional energy to actually solve a problem once we have the ability to do something about it. If we spend three times as long worrying about a problem as the amount of time it takes to fix it, we’ve spent 90 points on a 30 point problem, leaving us less energy to give to the next opportunity or challenge that comes our way.

Let’s spend the time we would usually spend worrying in prayer! “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” Philippians 4:6. Times of waiting and uncertainty are great opportunities for us to draw closer to God. Let’s not waste them on worry instead.

 

Focus on the foods God made.
“God’s design for food.” It’s not a phrase we hear mentioned in sermons very often, and yet, like every other area of our lives, God has a good design available for us to follow! He made our bodies, and He made foods with the macro- and micronutrients perfectly suited to fueling our bodies and minds for his service. Generally speaking, the farther a food is from the form in which God made it, the less effective it is at fueling our bodies and minds (as well as being potentially harmful). Water, plants, and animals (depending on your specific convictions) are gifts he’s given us to help us live a thriving life. Let’s celebrate them and put them at the core of our diets!

 

Appreciate and interact with your body on the basis of its function rather than its appearance
If our number one complaint about our bodies is their appearance, we’re in a pretty privileged place. Less able-bodied people would love to have the luxury of their body’s appearance being their top concern!

Our culture’s mindset about bodies is shaped by manipulation and profit. Companies seek to bolster insecurities in you, and then profit off the remedies they create. Don’t let this distract you from how amazing the function of your body is and what a gift God has given you!

Let’s stop looking at our bodies like products and celebrate what they do. Next time you look at your body, put aside aesthetic dissatisfaction, and think of the life your body allows you to live. Legs that run and jump and allow us to be mobile. Arms that allow us to work and play and hug. Stomachs that protect our organs and provide our child’s first home. Crows feet and smile lines evidencing happy memories and a joyful life.

Additionally, we celebrate and maintain the function of our bodies through using them. Let’s be good stewards of the gift of our body by keeping it functioning well through exercise.

 

Seek God as the source of fulfillment for your needs before all other sources.
Some of our greatest intimacy with God comes when we allow him to meet us at our most vulnerable and desperate points of need. If we take the edge off of our needs through meeting them with other sources first, we lessen the potential our needs provide to build intimacy with God.

At times, we’ll naturally feel vulnerable and helpless, desperate for God’s help. We need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to accept God as our Provider, and humbly receive from Him even when we feel strong.

 

Recognize that your most beautiful self is the self most aligned with God’s design.
As long as we live on this planet, our body, mind and spirit come in one package. This is why when people try to separate internal and external beauty, it doesn't work! They are inextricably connected. Beauty is a byproduct of wellness in all its senses: wellness of body, mind and spirit. Each one affects the other and can't be separated while we’re on this earth. Rather than trying to pursue beauty itself, we should pursue wellness and wholeness of body, mind and spirit through God’s design, and our personal greatest beauty will result.

The concept of the fruits of the Spirit helps to round out our understanding of this topic. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23. This is not a list of primary pursuits — it's a list of fruits, or evidence, that the Spirit is at work in us. Likewise, beauty doesn't come through primary pursuit. It’s the result of holistic wellness and alignment with God’s design.