Healthy Body, Mind, and Soul Habits #7
I haven’t been doing a great job eating a nutritious breakfast in a timely manner lately. Foolish, I know. But I’m getting back into a more structured morning time in the Word by participating in May Daily Scripture Writing from the Middle Places blog. This month’s theme is Growing.
Healthy Soul Habits
If I don’t want my day to be worse than it needs to, I need to take time to read my Bible, to feed on the Word, before I get too far into my day. Meditating on the Word as I go through the day, which means thinking about what I read, helps me keep my head on straight and deepens my understanding of God, His character, and His will. He CREATED me; He knows what I need and how to be the best possible, fully-me ME I can be.
It’s amazing to think that the Creator of the Universe, the One who holds it all together and without whom nothing we see would exist, wants us to know Him. He wants to have a relationship with us, and not just a casual one. He wants us to be His family. For eternity.
And this awesome Being has given us His words, recorded in the Bible, so we can learn His character, receive His invitation, and know how to live in a way that pleases Him. From a mental health perspective, the greatest thing about learning how to please God and then doing it, means acting in a way we were created to, and finding true fulfillment.
Pleasing God involves our entire being. Including what we do, and what we don’t do.
Healthy Body Habits
So back to that breakfast thing. In my teens I became one of those no-breakfast people. Well, I would have been more of one if not for my mother. I hated breakfast cereal. Except for Golden Grahams, which I only liked without milk, and preferably not first thing in the morning but as a snack. My brother, on the other hand, could have eaten cereal three-meals-a-day almost every day. Just another one of those little things that made me feel weirdly inadequate… I mean, your brother likes cereal, why can’t you?!?
Any way, when I was living on my own the thought of food in the morning was still Blech. And I was almost always in a hurry to get somewhere. Mostly work. Did I tell you about the month I worked three jobs and didn’t have have a day or evening off? I was so tired by Christmas Day, and grateful everything was closed. One of my jobs was in a mall, for crying out loud, but I hadn’t had time to finish shopping…
But I digress.
Well not really…
I wasn’t eating right. I wasn’t spending any time in the Word. The deepest depressions hadn’t yet caught up with me. But in all the rush of finding my identity, I really had none. I was self-medicating with busyness, and as I got less busy, I filled in the gaps with men. I was hollow. Empty. Directionless. Just trying to make a living, be noticed, and find someone to tell me who I was.
I was not mentally healthy. But I looked okay. I didn’t know better. Okay, I did know better, but refused to admit I was wrong. I was getting away with it all, or so I thought.
There’s so much more to mental health than healthy eating, but unhealthy choices in one area affect other areas of health. We’re not one-dimensional.
Fast forward through the rest of my single days, a short engagement, a wedding, and two big moves, to my first pregnancy. I had to eat breakfast, or I couldn’t get through the morning.
Even now, I’m not the most pleasant person to be around if I skip a meal, especially breakfast. I get tired and cranky. And indecisive. I lack motivation and am more easily overwhelmed. Sometimes I get just plain SAD. Skipping breakfast is a poor choice for someone who struggles with depression.
Healthy Mind Habits
I set myself up to feel worse than necessary if I don’t eat a decent breakfast. And, as I’ve said before, if I don’t know what God’s Word says, I can’t easily recognize or fight the lies.
I’m not good enough…
Things will never get better…
I’m trapped… helpless…
I’m useless… worse than useless… I’m bad for the people around me… I’m toxic… They’d be better off without me.
Starting my day filling up on good food and good words is a good thing. My kids are pretty self-sufficient at breakfast time, so putting breakfast and morning devotions together works well for me.
When I make the effort to DO it.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV
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