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This week we are so excited to have a special guest with us once again — Tracy Hurst! Tracy is a licensed professional counselor, author, speaker and teacher who is the epitome of the glory of Jesus! You are going to be so blessed by her wisdom and insight in this podcast. To read more of Tracy’s writing and learn more about her, visit her website at www.TracyHurst.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)
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I’ve listened to this unpublished podcast episode no less than four times in the past two weeks, because I need help here.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.
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!
This verse makes my heart so happy! Hope you love it too! Download the printable here.
Tracy had a plethora of amazing applications for us this week in each of the mind, body & soul categories. Don’t feel overwhelmed by the list — just take one or two today, and pick another in a few days. There’s no test — just the goal of health for all of us. Make this work for you!
a) Take Time to BE. When you’re feeling snappy, short, on edge and grumpy…just stop. Stop and take time to BE. Take a deep breath, smell the roses, notice the blue sky. Sit on a park bench for 10 minutes without checking your phone. Sit in the living room with no noise or music or technology and just sit. Let the chaos work itself out and clear your mind.
b) Cognitive Restructuring: This is the official psychology term that is basically Romans 12:2, “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” We have faulty belief systems about ourselves that we need to transform. We need to let God change the way we think by focusing on His truth and not what the world would tell us. Choose to think truth. Choose it every single time.
c) Set Boundaries with Yourself. What are you thinking about yourself? What are you believing. Don’t allow yourself to go there when it comes to your thought life.
d) Set Boundaries with Others. As Tracy said, “You have to say NO to something or someone to say YES to God.” Who or what do you need to say no to so you can say yes to be with God? Establish those boundaries and stick to them.
e) Count Your Blessings. Don’t obsess about your problem, obsess about your blessings. Thankfulness will cultivate a heart and mind of truth every single time.
f) Mental Pushups. When you think a negative thought about yourself, immediately stop and give two positive thoughts!
g) Journal. Get your emotions out of your head and onto paper — it helps you process and work through your feelings and weed through what’s false to get to what’s true.
h) Write a letter but don’t send it. If you’re angry about something, write it ALL out. Express every single emotion you’ve been feeling — and when you’re done, rip it up and throw it away.
i) Make Room for Fun. Schedule a girls night out, or go shopping or get a massage. Laugh and have fun.
a) Get a physical! Make sure all your lab work, hormones, etc are all functioning the way they are designed to by God.
b) Be aware of what your body is communicating to you. Pay attention to headaches, stomach issues, back pain and pray asking God if there’s something in your emotional or mental health that needs addressing to help the physical get well.
a) Surround Yourself with People of Faith. Who you hang out with matters — they will determine the person you become in five years. Surround yourself with people who will believe with you, who hold you accountable, who are people of faith.
b) Be in God’s Word. Tracy gave a beautiful illustration about how we wash our clothes after wearing them, and like our clothes, we need to wash our minds. Start and end each day with truth and wash out the stenches of the world that attached to our spirits.
c) Worship. Worship even when you don’t feel like it. Recognize that worship and spending time with God is going to look different every day…and if all you can do is sit on the floor with worship music on, that is being with Him.
d) Prayer. Pray about everything. Prayer is not a formal act of worship that has to sound pretty. It’s a conversation between two people who love each other.
e) Read the Psalms. David is an incredible example of humanity and pouring out His heart to God and ending in praise. We will feel emotions, but when they come, we can still declare God’s Word and His Truth like David did.
1. Every Body Matters: Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen Your Soul by Gary Thomas. When Gary Thomas writes a book, you read it. When he writes a book about physical and spiritual health, you run (see what I did there?) to get it.
2. When Your Body Gets the Blues by Marie Brown. This is the book Monica’s counselor recommended to her, and it’s AWESOME. (Note, you can only get it used now…I think it’s out of print? So don’t dilly-dally y’all!)
3. Happiness is a Choice: The Symptoms, Causes and Cures of Depression by Minirith & Meyer. “Happiness Is a Choice explores the complex relationship between spiritual life and psychological health and then spells out basic steps for recovering from depression and maintaining a happy, fulfilling life.” Sounds awesome, right??
4. The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. We’ve already mentioned this book before, but we all squealed with delight when we found out Tracy was reading it too (quite literally), so it’s worth mentioning again.
Thank you for visiting this week! We are praying an abundance of health to you — mind, body and spirit. Be free!
What one or two things did God highlight for you this week? What’s one thing you plan to do for your physical health this week? We’d love to hear from you — click on the comments box and let us know your thoughts!