I’m Over Letting Myself Go

“You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.”
1 Corinthians 13:16-17 MSG

Have you ever loved someone who behaved as though they didn’t love themselves? It hurts.

I remember when our kids went through their angsty teens. My heart pinched every time I saw evidence that they believed the lie that they were less than who God said they were.

Lately, God has been reminding me of an area in my own life in which I make His heart pinch.

My self-care stinks.

I bought into the lie that everyone else’s needs superseded my own. Logic like that can manifest itself in a lot of different ways. One of the most detrimental for me has been that I gave up taking care of my body.

I don’t struggle with weight, but when a girl can live on bread and chocolate, and her pants still fit, guess what? She eats bread and chocolate. Newsflash. Carbs and cocoa don’t keep a body healthy. Chronic migraines and recurrent sinus infections party down when I don’t eat right.

And then there’s the whole “exercise thing.” I stop and start. Pause and re-start. Quit and not start. Or start half-hearted and make a half-hearted commitment. GAH!

It’s easy to rationalize an inconsistent routine when you have the noble task of caring for others. But in the past nine months, I’ve been learning something:

The promises I repeatedly break to myself not only hurt me—they hurt God. Click To Tweet

I was reminded of this when I read today’s scripture:

“You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.” 1 Corinthians 13:16-17 MSG

Fun fact. Things like waking up with bedhead and coffee-stained teeth make me forget that my body is a temple. A TEMPLE!

God’s temple is sacred, and you and I are His temples. Click To Tweet

God’s Old Testament temple was cherished and revered. God views His New Testament temple with the same esteem. What that means for you and me is that we are His treasured possessions!

Bob Goff writes in Everybody, Always, “God has never looked in your mirror or mine and wished He saw someone else.”

Despite my many failed attempts at taking care of myself, God doesn’t look at me and see an abandoned shack. God, Chip, and Joanna Gaines see a marvelous fixer-upper!

God sees our potential.

He sees the women we can become when we live life believing He lives in us.

When I remember that my body is God’s dwelling place, I say to myself, “I feed the kids well. Why wouldn’t I feed Him well? I care for the home my family lives in. Why wouldn’t I care for the place He lives in?”

The challenge is twofold:

  1. We need to see God for who He is (a tender Father whose heart hurts when we don’t love ourselves enough to care for ourselves).
  2. We need to see God in terms of where He is (within us, at home in and dwelling within our bodies.)

I’m a work in progress, but I’m over letting myself go. I’m not making radical changes, but I am making small ones that I hope are sustainable. Things like:

Less sugar. (I’m pretty sure God likes chocolate, so we’re still having some of that.)
More sleep. (He keeps telling me He’s got this and it’s time to go to bed.)
Holy Yoga. (He and I both like the fact that we get to talk while we exercise.)

I don’t know how long these particular changes will stick. But my sincere prayer is that the following conviction will never leave me…

I’m a lifelong fixer-upper committed to taking care of my place because it’s occupied by someone that I love very much.

Reflection Questions

Is self-care hard for you? Why or why not?

If not, think of a way you can encourage someone who struggles with it. Maybe a friend has small children and rarely has time for herself. Can you watch the kids one night a week so she can go to the gym or get a massage?

If self-care is hard, what is one small thing you could do to honor God’s temple? Go for a walk two times a week? Add one fruit to your daily diet? Commit to winding down earlier at night, so you can get more sleep?

Prayer

Dear God,
I confess that it’s hard to imagine that You live in me. And yet I know Your word says this is true. Renew my mind and transform my thoughts so that I can see myself the way you do. Enable me to revere my body with better self-care so that I can show how much I esteem the place you live in. Thank you for opening my mind and my heart to all the ways you love me. Help me to love you back in a manner that is worthy of who You are. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

17 thoughts on “I’m Over Letting Myself Go

Donna

I really needed to read this today. Especially since I just got off the scale. I need to take better care of myself.

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    Jodie

    It’s a battle, but one I have found can be won with Him! And, it’s always easier (and more fun) together.

    Reply

    Cindy Krall

    I hope it encouraged you Donna. The biggest take-away for any of us is how deeply God loves us. As we are. Where we are. May I say a prayer for you? “Father God, I pray that Donna’s desire for self-care won’t feel like a burden. Speak tender truths to her HEART about how much You love her. Speak truth to her MIND and give her ideas regarding one small step she could take to care for herself. Thank you for loving us just as we are and for teaching and tugging at us when You have something more for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

    Reply

Lora

This speaks volumes (like 10000) I’ve always put others first and felt guilty for self care. I’ve been working on me so far this year. I’ve never had a weight problem until know. (Chocolate and bread are oh so good). It’s time to see me as God sees me. Thank you for bringing the Word to help me be a better me. ❤️

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    Jodie

    I find when we love caring for others it is difficult to remember to take time for ourselves. When we do it’s good to remind ourselves how that benefits us and others at the same time. I’m so glad we can remind one another 🙂

    Reply

    Cindy Krall

    Lora, I’m so excited that God has already been whispering words of self-care to you. My kids keep reminding me, this isn’t just a new year…its a new decade! What a wonderful time to ask God to help us with a fresh start. Of course, even though healthy practices are good its important to remember we are ALWAYS “alltogether beautiful” in His eyes. Happy Monday to my bread and chocolate loving friend. We need to stick together!!

    Reply

Cheri

Ouch! The fact that the promises I repeatedly break to myself- not only hurt me – they hurt God.

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    Jodie

    It really makes me pause, reflect, and ask God to help me remember to care for myself.

    Reply

    Cindy Krall

    Cheri, I’d never thought of it that way before either. But the revelation didn’t fill me with guilt (and I hope it doesn’t for you either). My take away was that the heart of my Father hurt becasue He hurt for me. That thought has fueled my committment to self-care. Don’t you love it when the Holy Spirit reveals something in a fresh way? Let’s stay in touch and help one another on this journey of taking better care of ourselves!

    Reply

Jodie

“He sees the women we can become when we live life believing He lives in us.”- BAM!

Believing he lives in me! Thanks, Cindy. Your wisdom always encourages and strengthens me.

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Cindy Wilkins

Yep! Heading to the doctor today for a check on the ole cholesterol and blood pressure. Yikes! I believe the last time I was there six months ago I promised a change in my diet and to exercise regularly. Guess what? Lasted about two weeks! Not because I’m busy because I’m not. Just because it was easy to talk myself out of it! Needed this reminder today that I’m taking care of God’s temple! I’m sure I’ll make the same promises today that I made last time. I pray I follow through!

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    Jodie

    Prayer helps, doesn’t it? Making the commitment to our Creator and asking Him to strengthen our willpower. I like having scripture verses to guide me as well. “So wether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 is my go to for health and nutrition. Praying for your appointment, Cindy.

    Reply

    Cindy Krall

    Can I pray for you sweet Cindy? “Father God, I pray for Cindy’s appointment. I pray that whatever she learns she walks away fueled and encouraged to move forward with her self-care. May there be zero sense of condemnation. No shame. No embarrassment. Just a loving truth that leads her to whatever You think is the next right step for her. Cindy is deeply loved (and needed) by many. May that not feel like a burden but a blessing which inspires and motivates her. Be with your girl. She loves you deeply. In Jesus’ name. Amen!”

    Reply

Michaela

I needed this today. I have been struggling taking care of myself after our second son was born. It has been double the work, so this momma lives on chocolate! This morning as I was getting things ready to get all of us out the door I told myself I really need to start taking care of me too. Really hit home when I read this. I think it is so amazing God knows what we need when we need it! Thank you!

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    Cindy Krall

    Don’t you love it when God sends confirmations? They are my reminder that He is God of not just the broadstrokes in my life but every detail in my life. Mind blowing! I can honestly say that the most difficut time for me to engage in self-care was when the kids were small. So hard. Can I pray for you? “Father God, Michaela is feeling a tug toward care for her temple. God this thrills You! But You also know how hard that is when you’re a Mom of small children. During this stage of life self-care can feel as miraculous as the parting of the Red Sea! But maybe that’s the point. When we ask and sincerely desire something You show up and reveal a way, a path for it to happen. Would you do that for Michaela? Part the seas for her Lord. Make a way, just even a tiny step, that she can take toward self-care. In Jesus’ name, Amen!”

    Reply

Diana

I think we need to be careful not to conflate thinness and self-care. Yes, eating food that makes us feel good and taking care of our bodies is important. But that may not mean we are thin. God made all bodies, and sometimes self-care is loving the body he made you to be in, no matter what size or shape it is. I think there’s an idea that if we just do things “right,” we will be thin. That’s not true, and instead of it being self-care, it quickly turns into self-shame.

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    Cindy Krall

    Diana, Such wise words. It’s easy to get caught up into stereotypes regarding body shapes and sizes and how that relates to health and wellness. I agree with you wholeheartedly!Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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