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Special Guest: Clare from Peak313- Being Intentionally Focused on our Health

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Hi friends! You have no idea how excited I am that our Good Morning Girls groups are starting back up! I have been a part of one for 4 years now and the accountability that they have been in my life has made a HUGE difference! I am so thankful that you have taken the time to find that group of friends and to take time with our great God every single day! Oh the blessing it is to be in fellowship with Him!

When I saw that our theme for the next few months was “intentionally focused” my jaw dropped! I am in the middle of Beth Moore’s “Daniel” study and it was one of the first things we talked about as we examined Daniel’s life! It’s a theme that God has revealed to me in various other ways over the past few months, so to see it appear again in this study again confirms that God is indeed doing a work in my heart in this area!

As I look over the areas that we will be covering: our spiritual lives, our minds, our marriages, our friendships, our children, our ministries, and our health, I see how easy it is for us to go on cruise control in these areas. I’d venture to say that most of us don’t do it intentionally, but instead accidentally as laziness or drift sets in. And unfortunately, when we are not intentional, it’s not God’s standards that sets in deep in our spirits, but instead those of the world. We must be deliberate! We must be proactive! We must be…intentionally focused! Reading in Daniel, chapter 1, verse 8 sets the tone for the whole book, “But Daniel RESOLVED not to defile himself…” Daniel knew that if he had not been training in certain areas, that he would be apt to drift. Beth Moore says it like this:

“Daniel’s brand of resolve involved something he was challenged to practice every single day. In fact, you might say he ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t think for a moment he wasn’t tested and tempted by the sights and scents of succulent foods. Had his decision been easy, it wouldn’t have demanded RESOLVE.” (“Daniel: Lives of Integrity Words of Prophecy”, page 24)

So it’s with this preface that I come to you in regards to our health. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a fitness instructor, fitness lover, and fitness motivator of sorts. :) I blog at www.peak313.com where my heart is to encourage women from the inside out. My desire is for you to find refreshment in the area of your health as you seek after God in this area. I truly am after your heart, not your waistline, and with that said, there are so many ways that our health, as Christians, have been an area of “drift” for us. The statistics and the stories we see show us Satan has taken something good in our lives and made it a battlefield for many.

Food–in it’s abundance, diversity, and beauty–is no longer for some something kept in moderation as it becomes an obsession both for those who eat it too much, and those who are afraid to touch it. Exercise–in the unique way it provides stress-relief, strength, and clarity–becomes yet again something that many struggle with managing as it becomes an abuse both for the one who puts too much worth in it and the one who puts none in it at all. And finally, we must not overlook the mental/emotional health. Our thoughts about our worth, our confidence, our image, and so much more are an even bigger part of the equation of health than many consider.

So how do we manage this? How do we keep the balance in a world where extremes are the normal and where what’s “skinny and healthy” changes every 3 weeks? We resolve. We resolve to keep from drifting. We are focused. We are intentional. We have a plan, and we do it all to the glory of His name! Friends, there’s a way to be intentionally focused in our health and not let it get out of whack! I see it all the time with the many readers who come to my site and I’ve seen it in my own life. The key is the spiritual component, and no, not a “zen-like” emptying of the mind that many fitness people will tout but instead a FILLING of the Holy Spirit, with the RENEWAL of our minds, as we are TRANSFORMED from the inside out.

I know that many of you come from some pretty crazy backgrounds in regards to your health. We’ve all got our “life box” filled with past circumstances, hurts, and victories that we carry with us. That box will play a huge part in how you view your health–some for the good, and some for the bad. My prayer for you is that you would be open to see how God may be speaking to you in this area. Our health is about stewardship, just like any of the many gifts He gives us on this earth. Our health is to be something we take to Him daily, just like any of the other worries or daily activities we have in our lives. One of my favorite quotes I say to myself often is from Elisabeth Elliot from her book, “Discipline: the Glad Surrender”. It says,

“We cannot give our hearts to God and keep our bodies to ourselves.”

Would you ask Him to show you how you may honor Him in this area?

Press on,
Clare
www.peak313.com

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 12.29.30 PMClare lives with her husband and 2 children in Northeast Ohio. She has her bachelor’s degree in business management and left a promising career to be a stay-at-home mom to her children. She is a certified fitness instructor and teaches pilates and group fitness classes at her church and local university. Clare’s passion (outside of raising and nurturing her children and home) is motivating women of all ages and stages of life to live well physically, emotionally and spiritually. Visit her at Peak313!

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Comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing those words of encouragement, Clare! I am a 30-year-old, SAHM of two precious baby girls, and it has recently been in the back of my mind how much I have let my physical well-being slip under the radar. I have a history full of different ups and downs with my health, a major one including a childhood of being very overweight. I gained victory over this struggle in college by becoming active and losing weight, largely by running. It was also a time when I first came to accept Christ, so running and exercising was a time for me to listen to uplifting music and feel alone with God. Now, with a lower back that goes out in the snap of a finger and a stomach that feels the affect of two C-sections, it’s been all too easy to let our elliptical sit and collect dust, and for the new yoga videos I was once excited about to sit unwatched. Your words this morning definitely encouraged me to try adding my physical health to the list of priorities again, but to do it in a way that is not “all or nothing” (as the world makes is feel we need to do). Baby steps, right? :)

    I would love to visit your site sometime soon and possibly gain some more insight from you as to the best ways to ease back into exercising! With two little ones to care for, I can’t afford to hurt myself. ;) Thank you again for your encouragement this morning! It is SO refreshing to look at our health through the eyes of God’s WORD and not the eyes of the world!

  2. Thank you for being so balanced in your approach to the body. It is part of the whole and I so appreciate that you see the body with the mind and spirit. So refreshing. As a woman in her 60s I have the same need to be intentional and having not done so in my younger years correctly, I am paying for that now. As I look a the verse for today, Psalm 90:12, We need to learn to number our days and get that heart of wisdom not only in how we live life but how we care for this “tent” we have been given. Thank you for the encouragement.

  3. Wonderful words of encouragement for me this morning! I’ve done the Beth Moore Daniel study and know what you mean. I too want to be intentional but balanced. After being sick the last few days, I started back slowly in my exercise this morning. I am packing my lunch for work along with a few healthy snacks so I won’t be tempted by many goodies in our lounge. Thank you for your words. I also follow your blog.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

  4. I love that today you have talked about health. Who doesn’t need their health. God lets us make choices in life and I can honestly say as I live this one, I’m not doing it so well healthwise. Thank you for speaking on this today. My daughter and son have been trying to get me up and moving for a few weeks. That is something I have a hard time committing too. I want too but I know I’ll give up. Now that it’s been put this way to be intentionally focused about it and be thinking that it’s not just for me but for my God and my children as well as myself, well it sounds like a pretty good idea even if it’s just to go on walks. Maybe to even be like Enoch just walk with God and let Hom sort things out for me. Thank you mrs Clare. Blessings krista

  5. I know that I shouldn’t be surprised when God gives me what I need, but I am constantly amazed by how He knows me so well and sees to my needs. When I saw the title of this bible study, Intentionally Focused, I knew that God sent it just for me, and I felt like I couldn’t subscribe fast enough. He knows that this is something that I am aware that I need in my life, but this burden needed to be nourished, directed, and given intentionality. I am struggling with overcoming sugar addiction (it sounds trivial, but it’s true) and this morning, before I opened up my email to find Clare’s words of encouragement, I was thinking about how Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar (from 19 Kids and Counting on TLC) have had to surrender themselves to God’s will so completely to have the family that they have been blessed with, including Michelle’s body. Think about it. For those of us that have had children, we understand how hosting the development of another human being within our bodies takes a toll, not to mention bringing them into the world and nourishing them (if we breastfeed). Michelle has given that to God. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes thinking about the level of trust and surrender that takes. God certainly knows my heart and I feel a work beginning there. I don’t want it to stop. I want to be intentional in my life, including giving my body to Him. I need to ask for His help. Thank you for this!

  6. Holly Oke Todd When I read this blog I thought how nice for her that she has no “real” health issues. I myself cannot always get out of bed, not even for days sometimes. I pray for my health yet to date physically, even mentally things haven’t changed. Yet spiritually it’s brought me much closer to Christ, so for this moment my diseases have served a purpose. We can never count on life staying the same. We grow older, change circumstance and we must adapt. The simple truth that human bodies have expiration dates may alarm some but for me I know my struggles will end and all that is tough today will be left on earth. Glory to God!

    • I decided to join this Bible Study as I am new at this. I am not a young mother, I have married children and grandchildren but I find it very informative. I, too, have health issues that some times, especially in this cold, cold winter, make me wonder what is the purpose of my life now. Reading the blogs that are posted, the Bible which is all new to me as it was not read in a previous church, is all very comfortable to me now. Thank you to the younger women who encouraged me to join as I understand what all of you are doing to make a happy marriage. Through God, all things are possible.

  7. WOW! Amazing how the Lord brings thing together! I felt the tie between Intentionally Focused and a new study I just began through Proverbs 31 ministries yesterday. It is called Made to Crave. I am so excited that both of these studies are tied to each other in that being intentional about putting God first in my life in all ways will bring about the resolve I need to choose a healthier lifestyle. I can’t wait to see what else the Lord has in store through these studies together :-)
    Thank you for your words today they were a real encouragement! And thank you to the Good Morning Girls Staff for all the time and effort you all put into this study! It truly is a blessing!

    • Laurie, You took the words right out of my mouth! I also just started the Made to Crave online study yesterday. I see this as God empowering me as He ties these two studies together and challenges me to put Him first! So thankful for a God who knows our deepest needs and knows exactly how to fill them. Thank you, Clare, for the challenge to be intentional in keeping our bodies healthy. I have heard it all before but I needed a reminder. I’m praying that God changes me from the inside out. The quote from Elizabeth Elliot is going to be printed and put in a few important places in my home!

    • Ladies, God truly is amazing! I was not going to do this study, I knew I was going to do the MTC one, I also challenged myself to a re.ad through the bible in a year…but then came “Intentionally Focused”~my one word this year…FOCUS…. last year was INTENTIONAL (which I strongly considered keeping for another year). We should have a group of Intentionally Focused M2Cers! I love how they are complimenting each other. He who began a good thing in us will see it through to completion. Thanking all the ladies here who pour themselves into these studies to encourage and support! Thank you Claire for your words and the picture with Elizabeth Elliot’s quote! It will be on my Pinetrest board for Inspiration! May God bless us all through his word.

  8. Oh wow, I really needed this post today – I am struggling with my weight again after recently having gallbladder surgery before Thanksgiving. I had lost a lot of weight simply due to the pain that eating caused me because of my gallbladder ,well, I fell into the trap of overeating lots of yummy stuff again just because the pain was GONE! Now, I’m disgusted with myself about the weight I put back on and struggling to eat less again. That quote really hit home about not being able to give our hearts to God and keep our bodies to ourselves. I am praying to be more intentional about what I eat not to get skinny but to honor God.

  9. Thank you for the words of encouragement, as I am working on having a healthier body. I can’t do it alone, and am trying to rely on God and not myself. :-)

  10. I love how you pulled out the verse: “But Daniel RESOLVED not to defile himself.” You are so right about drifting…we never drift toward our Lord, we must resolve, intentional focus on Him. I am leading a Made To Crave Action Plan group and bringing in lessons from the Made To Crave book, as I am doing that study, too. May our Lord bless you as you lead folks to the realization that it takes resolve to keep our focus on our Lord and His ways and may our Lord keep us from drifting, as well for just as Daniel was no doubt tempted, so the world and the things in this world can pull us away, too.

  11. I love this. Needed to hear this right now more than I can ever explain so I’m not going to try. But just another reminder that nothing we do is by accident but Devine providence. Our God is just so Awesome like that He places us right where we need to be at the right time. Thank you for this post and listening to what God called you to do. You are all such blessing.

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