Hello there, readers, and let me officially say Happy New Year! I hope your 2017 is off to a great start (and that you haven’t fallen too far off that clean eating wagon just yet).
And speaking of, nothing is quite as synonymous with “new year’s resolution” as “weight loss,” no? For countless Januarys, I’ve included “eat healthier” on my mile-long list of resolutions (and this year is no different, as I’m attempting to shed the remaining baby weight … and finding it much harder than it was with the first two, sheesh!).
As we’ve done for the past couple of years, Aaron and I decided to do the Whole30 for the month of January—or rather, our own version of Whole30, one that works best for us. Whole30ish, if you will.
While prepping and searching for recipes and meal planning these past couple of weeks, I’ve thought a lot about the concept of wholeness and what it means to be whole. Generally, the majority of my focus this time of year tends to center around achieving physical goals—losing weight, eating cleaner, training for a race, dusting off my tennis racquet, etc.
Focusing on finding health, healing, and wholeness in our physical bodies is a worthy goal—indeed, the Apostle Paul writes:
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 at a price. Therefore honor God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV).
I love this scripture, and I enjoy pursuing health and wellness goals. But these days, I find myself desiring a different kind of wholeness—a spiritual wholeness. A wholeness of heart and soul.
On one recent and particularly challenging, sleep-deprived morning, I found myself pouting to God, whining, “I don’t even have enough time to have a quiet time!”
Yes, I was in a huff and irritated at my early rising children because I wasn’t able to do my devotion that morning as usual.
Attitude check on aisle 1, please.
In His kind and gentle manner, I felt God whisper to my frustrated soul, Your time is not your problem. Your heart is your problem.
Yowza. That one hurt. And it revealed how much work my sinful, fallen heart needs.
When I was able to sit quietly for a few minutes and read my devotion, the key verse came from Psalm 37:3, which says:
Trust in Jehovah and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness (ASV).
That little phrase, “feed on His faithfulness,” keeps ringing in my ears. How I would love to focus on allowing His faithfulness to fill those cracks in my foundation and crevices in my walls, until the rough places in my heart have been made smooth.
Until I extend forgiveness more quickly and freely.
Until I stop throwing myself pity-parties.
Until I learn to love more deeply, more selflessly, more fully, all those the Lord has placed in my life.
Until the high road, paved with grace and wisdom, becomes my natural first choice.
This is the cry of my heart for 2017—to be filled more fully by Him and let go of lingering bitterness, a hardened heart, baseless pride, and selfishness.
I want to become whole in Him—whole, secure, and truly living in how lavishly loved I am by Him. I don’t know about you, but it feels like I’m always working on moving the truth of His great love from my head down into my heart.
I long to live with joy no matter what storms are swirling and hovering right around me. I desire to become fluent in the language of gratitude.
If you’re a parent, you know firsthand how often parenthood becomes a big ‘ol spotlight pointed right into the deepest recesses of your soul. I’ll find myself harping at my children to be patient or loving or to share, only to feel a twinge of hypocrisy crawl up the back of my neck. Anyone else stepping in that with me?
If I’m going to teach my children to be whole, then it must be modeled for them—I have a sneaking suspicion such things are far more caught than taught. “You can’t give what you don’t have,” said Oprah or my mom or somebody wise. And I rather tend to agree.
So let the journey begin by feeding on His faithfulness and dwelling in His presence. Let us pursue physical health, but not to the neglect of our spiritual health. And may the words of Psalm 90:14 guide us this coming year:
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days (NIV).
Be blessed in this New Year, dear reader—be whole.