Recently a girlfriend of mine sent me a post on Facebook. It said, “Your diet is not only what you eat. It’s what you watch, what you listen to, what you read, the people you hang around . . . be mindful of the things you put into your body, emotionally, spiritually and physically.” It was an awesome reminder and one that got me thinking about how I feed myself each day and if the “food” is healthy.
To be perfectly clear, I have always struggled with what I literally eat; a great cheeseburger (with bacon) and some salty fries will always win over a sensible salad with oil and vinegar. I love bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches for breakfast and mac-n-cheese is an essential part of my go-to comfort food rotation. (okay, are you seeing a cheese theme here? It just hit me that I may have a love affair with sharp cheddar going on.) All of my life, I have tried to improve my diet, with a lot of hits and misses. These days it has gotten much better, thanks to Michael taking the cooking reigns and making sure we eat a proper dinner, and to the good people at Go Macro for making protein bars that I actually enjoy for breakfast. (Let’s not talk about lunch, okay? It’s complicated.) Without Michael, and my body, telling me that changes were required, I am not sure I could have made these adjustments on my own.
When it comes to what I watch and listen to, it has been a steady diet of emotion clogging, angst producing media for about two years now. As the world continues to reshape itself, my daily podcasts and news consumption have given me heartburn, headaches and stress. Consuming the fear, worry and upset that flows through all media has taken its toll. I get wrapped up in the nonsense, cannot see the clear path forward and feel utterly useless in solving the world’s problems. I had forgotten what it means to listen to the good news (with the exception of those dog videos I told you about before, but I don’t think they count within this context).
Making the affirmative choice to listen to the good news that God brings has become an essential part of digging out of the useless feeling I was having when listening to the bad stuff. Now, armed with the information about what is currently challenging the world, I am able to feed myself with the word of God; the Gospel; the Good News, and then live a better life. Simply put, acting from this place of hope and grace is so much more gratifying than getting lost in the misery smoothie that I drank in each day. Simple changes to this media diet include new, uplifting podcasts mixed in with my daily news, looking at the micro level on which I am empowered to make positive changes and tuning out the drama that swirls around like blasts of Arctic air. So now, what about the friend part of this new diet?
My circle of friends is really small. By this I mean the people who listen to me go on and on about the details of my life and still show up the next day to love me. I think that most of us are in that boat; many acquaintances, few besties. I am truly blessed to have a circle that believes in living a life of love. Of the women I am closest to, some are all about following Jesus, some are quiet believers and others “doesn’t do Jesus”. But they all do love and the do it beautifully. They each love their neighbors, creation, animals and love caring for others. They volunteer, hang out with the elderly and care for loved ones who are in need. This group brings food to the hungry, patience to the troubled and humor to the downtrodden. They are women I look to for inspiration, motivation, hugs and laughs. They are the light. I know that I got this part of my diet just right, and with God’s help I will continue to feed myself with the good news. Now if I could only do something about all that cheese. . .
*Photo courtesy of (in)courage