BODY: Physiological relates to environment or “world-consciousness” of what we feel (i.e.. heat, cold, or stress).
An illustration might be a three-legged stool. Cut off one leg and it becomes unstable, or unbalanced. Another type of illustration might be loaves of bread or a cake. The recipe is balanced with flour, yeast, liquid, and eggs.
Right amount of Kneeding = Spirit
Right number of eggs = Soul
Right amount of Yeast and oil = Body
We need all three to create balance and result in a Lemon Poppy Seed pound cake.
SPIRIT: Spending time with the Lord in Scripture and prayer and asking Him, “What do I need to do to bring balance to my responsibilities and commitments to honor You above all?” Sometimes He tells us to “be still”. Honestly seeking after Him for balance may surprise you in what He says to you.
Join the Journey, of Hill Country Bible Church, takes a small amount of time but is a powerful tool. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you” Matthew 6:33
SOUL: Relationships with others is our biggest area of struggle. Do you have unresolved issues of unforgiveness or bitterness that not only hinders relationships but grieves the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives? “See to it that no one misses the Grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defy many.” Hebrews 12:15
If we don’t want to become bitter as an old woman, remember “Dis-Ease” can lead to Disease. A recent survey shows 75-85% of visits to primary care physicians are for “stress related” problems usually.
Not all stress is harmful such as lifting weights, it makes us stronger. The problem arises when challenges overwhelm our ability to cope with them. Living without margins or filling the margins with unbalanced activity. The problem comes when challenges overwhelm our ability to cope with them and”Living without Margins” and filling the Margins with unbalanced activity. Imagine the impact on Health Care if stress were managed.
Here are some Emotional Steps to “De-Stress” –
- Live in the here and now. It’s all we really have.
- We’re always looking to the future for something that will bring us happiness. Remember that Happiness and Happening are from the same root word. If good things aren’t happening, then we aren’t happy. “Joy” comes from deeper inner perspective and balance.
- No matter who you are, or in what wealth or poverty you live, life will not allow you more than one minute at a time.
- God wants us to treasure “this day”, “this time”, who knows what tomorrow holds? Just ask yourself – Is there someone I need to forgive? – Am I holding on to unforgiveness far too long? Did someone “write on my wall” sending negative messages that I’m still trying to overcome?
Truthfully, our view of life determines how we live, not our circumstances. It’s what brings us balance. If you endure a shattered dream, loss, or disappointment, recognize it’s one event in a lifetime of events. This event does not need to define who you are – we are born, go to school, get a job, become married, have children and will have many events until we die. One event does not have to determine the end of your story.
Personal Choices in Widowhood: I never planned to be a widow at sixty-four. Only two and one-half weeks after being diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma, my Ron was taken to be with the Lord. I felt like I had been hit by a MAC Truck. Ron had taken care of all the details of our life, the finances, house maintenance, cars, travel, etc.
We had planned to grow old together, travel enjoy grandchildren and live to be in our 90’s like my dad and his mom. What was I suppose to do now? I relied on God’s promise of “My Grace is sufficient for you”. It was a daily choice to trust God in this promise and some days I didn’t want to get out of bed.
The life lesson I learned was “What might have been” doesn’t exist. “What is” is what’s important. If we choose to focus only on “If only, my life was different” we’ll get “stuck”. It then becomes our “comfort zone” and we think it’s the way it “should” be. Our desire to “control” those around us and our circumstance is a major issue as women. When we aren’t able to maintain control, like an adult child, a parent, sibling, mate, etc, it raises our stress level.
Life Lessons I’ve Learned: I have a bi-polar brother and my dad says to me, “fix him”! Where I have no control, I have no responsibility! Choosing not to get out of a trap like this and holding on to negative emotions, leads to anxiety and depression. “Anxiety” is fear of tomorrow and “Depression” is anger about the past. Also, fatigue, irritability, moodiness, could be warnings signs you need to heed, says “Imbalance”. Some studies indicate that repressed anger burns up large amounts of Vitamin C, leading to a compromised immune system which makes us more susceptible to illness. Don’t let anxiety and depression get an ugly grip on you. It’s toxic to you emotionally and physically. It’s important to talk to a trusted friend, spouse, or someone you respect before it takes over your emotional and physical well-being.
Changing our words can help change the way we think such as the “Can’ts” to “Won’ts”
- I “can’t” communicate with my husband
- I “can’t” discipline the kids like I should
- I “can’t” stop overeating
- I “can’t” forgive
- I “can’t let go of the bitterness (bitter old woman?)
If you change your “can’ts” to “won’ts”, you quit deceiving yourself and at least live more in reality. Ask yourself, “Why can’t I do these things? What is holding me back?” More times than not you will realize you have more choices than you previously believed. Remember, Philippians 4:13 “I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength”. There’s a Greek Proverb, “The heart that loves is always young.” Don’t we all want to stay as young as we can?
Here are a few ways to maintain positive connections.
- Be kind. You don’t need to know specifics of a person’s burden to know it may feel very heavy.
- No matter how big the fault of another person, there is something worthy, even if you can’t see it. Learn to extend Grace.
- Celebrate the temporary. Today is all you have, celebrate your children and if married, your husband. He may not be here tomorrow.
- If you want to change the way you feel about someone, change the way you treat them and watch what happens, mainly in you. Pray for them.
Our “BODY” is defined in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 as a temple of the Holy Spirit. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought with a price, therefore, honor God with your body.”
Magazines and news programs tell us a “Balanced Life” is living with less physical stress. Here are some practical physical steps to reduce stress:
- Take time for “TLC”, smell the roses in life, have a hot bath, turn on calm music, read a good book, journal your thoughts, meditate or have quiet time.
- Do deep breathing exercises. It oxygenates the cells. Try it!
- Avoid caffeine and sugar. Stress makes us want comfort food.
- Sleep more. One and half hour increments is nine hours of healing.
- Drink lots of water
- Exercise 30 minutes, 4 to 5 times a week. This fights illness.
- Eat healthy, incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- A laugh a day may keep the doctor away. Dr. Joseph Mercola says, “Watching a funny movie can increase blood flow as much as a 15-20 minutes workout.”
FINALLY – Get rid of the writings on your walls. Negative messages from mom, dad, teachers, friends that say “you have to do it all, have it all, be it all, be perfect” to be significant. This is Satan’s lie that works against God’s design for us as women. Who does God say I am? He says I am His child.
I encourage you to process some of what you have read today. Ask God what is His message for you and then seek to make whatever changes you feel will make your life look and feel more balanced. Your family will thank you, your friends will thank you, and your body will thank you. The Spirit, Soul, and Body all need balance just like ingredients that go into our baking bread.