As we make our plans…
As we envision the beautiful lives we’re creating this year…
As we set goals and action steps and learn to focus on our strengths…
So often, in the background – and sometimes right in the front of our minds – our fears and doubts sit cozily and comfortably, making themselves at home and preventing us from living fully into our dreams.
Today and tomorrow we are taking time to name these little demons, to look them in the eye, and inform them that they have no power. When you know God as your strength, you grow to realize that fears only have the power we offer them.
My friends, your fears and worries are not reality. They are created by a set of thoughts you’ve chosen to cling to and project into reality. And doing that tends to create self-fulfilling results. It’s time to turn this around:
I have been to my share of recovery-related support groups and one thing I’ve always appreciated about the 12-step format is the advice to “Take the best and leave the rest.” In other words, when you hear some bit of advice or wisdom that applies to you and your situation in a positive way, jot it down…apply it…keep it in your life-tool box for future reference. And if something does not ring true to you, or does not apply, or seems ill-advised, leave it. It’s always your choice whether or not to weave some behavior or philosophy into your life going forward. Hear me: It is always your choice.
This topic has come up in conversations regarding religion as well. I have talked with many people who have the attitude that, if they are in a church, they must adhere to and embody everything the leader teaches about the Bible or life or whatever. So, even if they are agreeable to much of what’s happening and being taught, but disagree with one thing, they’ll leave. Or they’ll say, “I have to see life this way, my pastor said so.”
Sorry. I disagree. If something you are taught – anywhere – rubs you wrong, go home and pray about it. Read up on it. Seek other counsel – then make your decision. Or just leave it be for awhile.
But anyway, this isn’t about churches or Al-anon or religion – this is about YOU! Our BEYOND RESOLUTIONS group is starting to journal about their goals – and you can too. Today’s journal prompt (Week 3, Day 3) asks you to look at the past, take the best – and leave the rest:
JOURNAL ASSIGNMENT 3.3: In the process of life coaching, we rarely reach into the past. Coaching is all about looking forward, setting goals, making plans and carrying them through to positive change. Today is our exception. Today I’m going to ask you to look back for the purpose of grabbing some good ideas – and then leaving the rest behind.
Early this morning, as I pondered about which aspect of spiritual growth to focus on today, I realized that praying about it would be a smart thing to do! During my prayer time, what came to me was the importance of trusting God at all times with all that we have, are and do.
Then I thought, “I would love some confirmation on this.” I picked up my “Jesus Calling,” and turned to the bookmarked page which read:
“Strive to trust me in more and more areas of your life.
Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity.
Instead of running away from these challenges,
embrace them, eager to gain all the blessings I have hidden in the difficulties…”
(Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)
That was confirmation enough for me. And so today’s journal prompt is as follows:
PRAYER FOR THE DAY: God, it can be hard to put our troubles in your hands when we cannot see you standing in front of us or talk face-to-face over coffee! In this world, it takes a true leap of faith to trust when we cannot see and touch. So we ask your help. Please show up for us in ways that are undeniable. Forgive our doubt and help us to remember – day to day and minute by minute – that you truly hold us in the palm of your hands – warm, gentle, loving hands. Thank you for being a Power we can trust. Amen.
Friends and Readers,
Today I have the pleasure of introducing to you my friend and colleague, Coach Michelle Hill. Please enjoy her special message, below, on the topic of Spiritual Wellness. For more, visit her regularly at Pushy Prophet Girl Ministries. Read on…
Two Key Principles of Spiritual Wellness
My name is Michelle Hill, and I am the original pushy prophet girl—owner, certified life coach, and certified human behavior consultant at Pushy Prophet Girl Ministries. My goal at Pushy Prophet Girl Ministries is to help you become fearlessly fulfilled—a lifelong process that means stepping boldly into the identity God has given you while becoming emotionally intelligent, physically fit, and spiritually healthy.
Emotional health, physical health, and spiritual health are intricately linked. In his book “Emotionally Healthy Church,” Peter Scazzero says that we cannot be spiritually healthy without being emotionally healthy. In other words, if we do not know how to control our emotions, how to handle pain, and how to deal with our hurts, habits, and hang-ups, then we cannot walk in spiritual health as God intended. As a former addict, I can assure you that emotional intelligence is the starting point to becoming healthy in all areas of your life. And once we have started to become emotionally intelligent, we can move forward in our spiritual health.
In Mark 12:30-31, someone asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, and Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” From these verses come two important principles of spiritual health:
Are you ready to get started in these two areas of spiritual health? Start expanding your love for God—get connected in a small group in your own church or through Community Bible Study. Begin a Bible reading plan using YouVersion on your computer, phone, or tablet—I use this for a daily reading plan and love it. Find out more about how God has gifted you: check out this free, brief assessment on your motivational spiritual gifts. Or if you would like a more comprehensive assessment, please feel free contact me at Pushy Prophet Girl Ministries regarding personal coaching using the DISC/Spiritual Gifts Assessment.
Whatever avenue you choose, choose to pursue spiritual health! As you begin to understand more about God and your identity in Christ, you will begin to make a larger impact in your own world and in others’!
Images of the Holy Spirit always denote an active, living energy and movement: Fire, River, Wind, Rain… There is a natural flow to our spiritual lives and to any type of growth we experience. But sometimes we get stuck. Sometimes our lives feel more like the Dead Sea than free-flowing waters!
God is unshakable. I, on the other hand, can be knocked off my feet by life now and then, and during those times my oh-so-strong faith can be – and has been – tested. Like the time I was assaulted. My nervous breakdown. When my marriage went under. Or when one of my children spent a winter on the streets lost in drug addiction.
Faith in God doesn’t make our lives perfect. God perfects us (rather than our circumstances) so that we can endure throughout the whole journey. And actually – with God we do more than endure – we grow and we flourish over a lifetime!
Right now, I’m in a strong time of life. Despite some circumstances that aren’t yet what I would want them to be, my faith is strong and my focus is on “the Rock that is higher than I.”
Where are you now … with God?
In preparation for this week’s topic of Spiritual Growth, I’ve been searching the internet to see what others have to say on the subject. What I saw was that teachings on spiritual growth, for the most part, are so serious. We’re advised to pray, to study, to be obedient, to focus, to reject the lies, etc. There is truth in all of this, and these steps are important but …
Where is the J-O-Y ? Where is the joy of the Lord? Where is the celebration? And where (and to me this is the clincher) … where is the focus on growth being a natural process?
There is a reason my coaching business is named “Growing Your Beautiful Life.” The name itself grew out of many hours spent in the South Carolina marsh, Brookgreen Gardens, wildlife preserves and state parks. As I observe the growth and cycles of nature here, God speaks to me, saying: “Growth in Me is natural. It is easy. It is joyous and renewing. Stop trying so hard and let it be. Let me grow you into your beautiful life!”
There certainly is no shortage of Bible verses comparing spiritual concepts to those in nature. In fact, the verse that underlies my ministry is from Isaiah 55 (vs. 12-13). I pray that you will consider these words and open your spirit to the natural development of beauty and energy and joy that comes from knowing you were born to grow your beautiful life!
You will live in joy and peace.
The mountains and hills will burst into song,
and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.
Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.
These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name;
they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.
God bless your week!