Nourish: To provide (someone or something) with food and other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition; to cause something to develop or grow stronger.
Synonyms => Cherish. Cultivate. Sustain. Comfort. Encourage. Support.
Antonyms => Abandon. Ignore. Neglect. Condemn. Deprive. Hurt. Starve.
For nearly a decade I eliminated entire food groups and exercised to the nth degree, the underlying motivation always the same – to lose weight. I told myself it was about “being healthy” but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. What I was doing to myself was nothing short of abuse.
Abandon. Ignore. Neglect. Condemn. Deprive. Hurt. Starve.
During the healing process, I discovered that in addition to having a body that must be cared for and nourished I also have a spirit requiring the same. And to flourish and grow, both body and spirit needed tending:
1) I learned to nourish my body with the help of a registered dietitian and food exchange meal plan. Forever abandoning my scale and the notion of “good” and “bad” foods.
2) With the help of a specialized therapist, I learned how to make changes to my thinking (we don’t live differently until we think differently). Self Talk, Soul Talk: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Jennifer Rothschild is an EXCELLENT resource on this subject.
3) I began watching bible teacher Joyce Meyer on television and applying biblical truths to my thinking.
As my body and spirit healed, a new way of thinking took root.
Cherish. Cultivate. Sustain. Comfort. Encourage. Support.
And nourishing others became the overflow of learning how to nourish myself.
Such a beautiful thing that lines up so beautifully with scripture:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion – to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit – that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolations and renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Isaiah 61:1-4 (AMPC)
Jesus was sent for the broken and blind, to bring freedom to physical and spiritual captives. To raise something beautiful from the ruins, bring joy instead of mourning, and praise in place of a burdened spirit. Best of all, He helps rebuild what was broken – all for the glory of God.
This week I want you to take a look at your own life story, specifically hidden or broken parts in need of rebuilding. In what ways is your life impacted today by those hidden or broken parts? Where are you longing for freedom? Are you open to the idea of rebuilding? If so, your journal can be a great place to begin a dialog with God. Track movement, growth, and signs of life – keep your eyes peeled for beauty in the rubble.
[If you are interested in learning more about living with intention, work through the weekly assignments and check out Intentional Gatherings for further inspiration.]