“Behold I will do a new thing, and it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:19.
*When I was a little girl, I loved stuffed animals. I had so many on my bed each night, that I barely had any room for me! I named them all one by one and if any of them fell off the bed during the night I would apologize to them and purposefully place them closest to me the next night. While my obsession of having hundreds of stuffed animals has lessened with my growing age, I will admit to having one stuffed animal, named “Brian” during my college years. He was a fluffy white bunny with long ears and a smile. I loved him deeply and my bunny saw me through the best and worst of times. I would hold onto him tightly each night and snuggle with him, especially after a long day. During the hard times, he would absorb my tears into his mangled fur as they fell from my face. Needless to say, what started out as a beautiful bunny began to resemble a tattered lamb.
When I married my husband, Michael, we each selected one thing we wanted the other person to get rid of prior to our honeymoon. And can you believe that he chose for me to get rid of my beloved white fluffy bunny?!! While letting go of Brian was not any easy task, I felt consoled because I would soon hold tightly onto my new husband in this new season of life. I was counting on him to perform all that my bunny had these past eight years.
Unbeknownst to me, with the letting go of my beloved bunny, I shifted my hold onto my husband and also my best friend, Kelly. This was all well and good until Kelly moved into her beautiful new home – in Egypt (okay, so maybe it wasn’t literally in Egypt, but it sure felt like it – LOL)!! Don’t get me wrong – I was thrilled for her, but to my dismay her new home was fifty minutes away from mine! I would never have thought of myself as someone who held tightly onto things. After all, I did move every few years and I considered myself very adaptable. But Kelly and I had planned to get pregnant at the same time and that she would watch my children when I worked a few days each week and her recent move upset our beautiful plans.
It was at this point that God began to speak to me that I had been holding tightly onto things throughout my entire life. God graciously revealed to me that the only thing I am to hold tightly onto is Him. People will move, relationships will change, but God never does!
I finally told Kelly of my struggles and asked for her forgiveness for being selfish. She of course was wonderful, and reaffirmed that no one could ever replace me in her life. Our heart-to-heart talk was a blessing and we made a pact to work hard at getting together even with the new distance between our homes. I then hung up the phone with her and prayed for the Lord to bless her new home and our friendship.
Next, I had a heart-to-heart talk with God.
He showed me that by holding onto things tightly, He wasn’t able to bring new blessings into my life. Tears filled my eyes as He spoke this truth to me. Then I happened to look over at my little Maltese dog, Noah, and it hit me just how much he looked like my old bunny “Brian.” He was soft and white with fluffy ears. Yet, I love Noah so much more! I also found out that a new friend of mine is moving into a neighborhood down the street from me. I began to realize that God has many new blessings to bring my way, if I will just let go and trust Him to bring them to me.
We can let go and grab onto Jesus because He is already holding onto us!
Truth be told, I still miss my mangled bunny and I will forever miss the close proximity of my best friend, but I now know that I must let go and “Behold, I (the Lord) will do a new thing, and it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19).
You see, if we will just let go and grab onto Christ, a new thing will appear.
So, let me ask you, Is there anything you are holding onto tightly? If so, I encourage you to let go and hold tightly to God’s Word and His promises for you this New Year because if you do -The best is yet ahead!
*Update since article was written in 2003- Kelly and I got our hearts desire to have children together and are still best friends today even with the distance between us. God continues to teach me to hold tightly onto Him for He is the one holding me and He is forever faithful. As we enter 2014, I believe that God wants us to “Expect Him to do the unexpected in our lives.” God has many NEW things He wants to bring into our lives in 2014!
**Above Article was my very first published Article in the Christian Chronicle, 2003.
Description: The continuation of our Be Healthy discussion with guest Tracy Hurst. This week we explore how our emotions affect our physical health, and how our bodies affect our emotional health…and how to truly BE healthy in mind, body and soul.
Click here to listen: BE Healthy Part 2 (www.bestillbefree.com)
THIS WEEK’S VERSE:
“My beloved friend, I pray that everything is going well for you, and that your body is as healthy as your soul is prosperous.” (3 John 1:2)
(If you haven’t listened to Part 1, click here!)
A Message from Monica:
Whoops. We were so excited to continue our talk with Tracy about physical health that we didn’t discuss a verse at the top of the show. But I (Monica) found the above verse in The Voice translation the other day, and it’s as if it leapt off the page and took root deep into my heart.
At the core of these two weeks on Be Healthy is this verse, you know? We want our souls and bodies to be healthy and prosperous! Because at the end of the day, we aren’t going to be able to DO all that God has called us to do (and face it, all that we have to do in a day), if our bodies are operating at 50% and we feel run down, sluggish and consistently down.
We have to BE healthy before we can DO what God has ordained for us to do.
So confession time:
I haven’t been healthy lately. My soul and my heart and emotions have been pretty healthy (relatively speaking…there’s always room to grow). But my body — my physical health — is pitiful. The past few months in particular, I’ve felt run down, lethargic, on-edge, headachy and generally feeling like I’m in a fog.
I hate feeling tired after just going up the stairs in my house, you know?
The frustrating part was that I’ve been exercising regularly and watching my food intake. However, I just realized I was watching the calories of the food I was eating, but not the food itself.
Don’t laugh — but I will always sacrifice real food calories for Cheez-Its calories.
And Cheez-Its calories — while delicious and satisfying in the moment — are not enough to fuel my body.
I’ve listened to this unpublished podcast episode no less than four times in the past two weeks, because I need help here. And I kept remembering what I said in the podcast about Michael Hyatt and his discipline in regards to physical health. And then I came across that verse from 3 John,
“…and that your body is as healthy as your soul is prosperous.”
And suddenly, one night last week, I had enough. I’m not even kidding — I went to bed determined to make a change, and on Tuesday morning at 5:30 am I made one. And for the past six whole days in a row, I’ve cut out most sugar and processed food. Because my body (at FORTY) operates best on a clean diet.
(I’m not saying this is what everyone should do — I’m not a nutritionist or expert whatsoever.)
(And I haven’t throw out the Cheez-Its yet.)
(The kids…you know.)
I say it to commiserate with you that we are all struggling to be healthy!
Just because discuss a particular topic on the podcast, it doesn’t mean we’ve learned it and mastered it. It’s always a process. And someone might be doing awesome when it comes to physical health, but struggling emotionally. Or kicking butt with spiritual health, but fighting with mental health.
We are all in the same race, running toward the same goal. Let’s just be real about it and cheer each other on, you know? (tweet that)
So Tracy shared some incredible insights with us this week about how our physical health can be affected by our emotions…and how our emotions can be affected by our physical health. There is such great content in this podcast — you have to make time to listen!
Here are a few highlights:
- What we think impacts how we feel, and how we feel impacts our body.
- Our bodies will tell us when something is wrong! Stomach pain, headaches, etc. may be symptoms of emotional issues that need to be addressed.
- When your body is speaking to you through back pain, headaches, stomach pain, etc…it’s God’s way of telling you to slow down and BE.
- Medication helps our bodies feel better, but our emotional health might not be where it needs to be if we don’t process our emotions and change our mind and the way we think.
- Even in the Bible, God brought health in mind, body and soul to many people (example: Elijah).
- God wants you to be whole — mind, body and soul.
- Women need more sleep than men, like 7-8 hours! (Tracy said it so it’s true.)
- We need to be able to recognize when to say no, so that we can nourish our bodies and our souls.
- Our bodies need to operate at full capacity so that we can fulfill the destinies God has for us!
- 30 minutes of physical exercise a day can have the same effect on your body as taking a low-dose antidepressant.
Isn’t that all so rich?? You have to give yourself 30 minutes to listen to it if you haven’t yet. I promise, you’ll be so much healthier for it!
Monica Steeley: www.elevateideas.com
Good Morning and Happy All Saints Day!
I have had the privilege of being on “The Dottie Coffman Show” talking about the “History of Halloween.” No matter what your personal belief is, Halloween has become a beloved holiday in America. But where did its origins come from? How did the church try to redeem this day in 690 AD with the help of a Pope? And how has American made Halloween it’s own? If you enjoy history, knowledge and want to learn more about Halloween, then you will love this show – it’s unbiased, factual and just plan interesting….. Just click on the link below:
Dottie Coffman Show
Click here: 31 Oct 13 DCS WIMO final
Thanks for tuning in and Part 2 will air next week which gets interesting and moves from history to “The pro’s and con’s of Halloween.”
And check out Dottie Coffman: www.dottiecoffman.com, like her page on Facebook and sign up for her newsletter! Dottie Coffman is a Talk show host, speaking about real life issues, with real people
Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the GLORY of the Lord has risen upon you! (Isaiah 60:1)
The sun shall no more be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you, but the Lord shall be to you an everlasting light, and your God your GLORY and your BEAUTY. (Isaiah 60:19)
To my utter delight, I awoke early from slumber last week and tip toed to the kitchen while my precious ones were still asleep. I giggled with joy as I put a Starbucks capsule into the Kerig machine and pushed “brew.” Then with my coffee in hand, I found my favorite spot and pulled the Word of God close. This was a rare treat from heaven and I knew that God had ordained this time for us.
Time with God – my glory, my beauty.
With every sip of caffine and bite of God’s word, I began to feel invigorated and ready to ponder the New Year. You see, with the state of our country and my own personal brokeness within 2012, I was somewhat apprehensive of the New Year. But then I found Isaiah 60 and just as the clouds are lifted due to a change of atmosphere, my concerns quickly floated away as God’s presence filled the room.
Embracing God – my glory, my beauty.
God began to show me that even with present darkness – there will be an unleashing within God’s people as we embrace Him as our glory and our beauty in 2013.
- Instead of grief, there will be His Glory
- Instead of despair, there will be His Joy
- Instead of defeat, there will be His Victory
- Instead of shame, there will be His Honor
- Instead of ashes, there will be His Beauty
- Instead of devastation, there will be His Restoration
- Instead of retreat, there will be His Rising
God – your glory, your beauty.
- Glory – “everything that makes God beautiful and great, it is a bright light from God.”
- Beauty- “qualities that delight the eye, ear, mind or heart, loveliness, elegance, a particular grace.”
- Hence, the closer we live to the Lord, our outward appearance will be transformed and become more glorious and beautiful.
2013 is the year to arise and shine and to be radiant in the Lord. It is not a matter of how we feel, it is a matter of allowing God to be our glory and our beauty. No longer will the sun or moon be our light, but the Lord will be unto us an everlasting light. May His glory and beauty shine through us as never before. And remember – do not allow this world to darken your spirit for this is the year to rise up and shine as never before.
2013 – God’s year of Glory and Beauty.
Happy New Year!
For all my Atlanta peeps – I am doing a series in January & February at Cumberland Community Church. Let me know if you can attend. Blessings!