Give (Joy) to Those in Need

The scriptures for the next 31 days are courtesy of the 31 Day New Year, Fit Spirit Challenge started by Sarah Shaffer who works for The Dashing Dish. Give Katie Farrell and the crew over there a look, it’s a wonderful blog and recipe sharing website where our favorite dishes are made into healthy alternatives. 

Nehemiah 8:10

“Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

According to The New Life Study Bible: The people wept openly when they heard God’s laws and realized how far they were from obeying them. But Ezra told them they should be filled with JOY because the day was sacred. It was time to celebrate and to give gifts to those in need. Celebrating is not to be self centered. Ezra connected celebrating with giving. This gave those in need an opportunity to celebrate as well. Often when we celebrate and give to others (even when we don’t feel like it), we are strengthened spiritually and filled with joy. Enter into celebrations that honor Go, and allow him to fill you with his joy.

My first thoughts on this are what I have discussed and blogged about on my fitness site – “Share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared.”

I have recently tried fasting as a way to teach my body and my mind patience when it comes to my next meal. I also wanted to emphasize that I am fortunate enough to live in a country where there is no shortage of food. I, God willing, will always have access and the funds to purchase good food when I need it. So in a way, I fast as a form of expression to thank God that I don’t need this food RIGHT NOW. I will eventually eat it….but I don’t need it right now.

Right now, there is someone else in need. Right now, perhaps not in my neighborhood, but probably in my city somewhere, someone is hungry and really can’t afford a meal. So I can sacrifice a meal or two so that others can purchase that food that I would normally buy. Or, of course, I can literally give someone else my next meal. That’s my gift to those who have nothing prepared.

It’s also interesting and I think important to note that you should give with Joy in your heart. Even if you might not particularly want to, it’s not helpful to show especially in your face, how unhappy you are to give to others. You might feel like you deserve to be a little greedy. Or maybe you feel you deserve a reward (of food) due to a great week of dieting or celebrating a little victory. I think this passage is saying celebrate, but celebrate by giving with Joy to others. That way, they can have some of the joy, too!

Fit in Your Faith Today: When was the last time you celebrated by giving to others instead of rewarding yourself? How can you flip that switch and celebrate by giving to those who are in need? It doesn’t have to be a donation in the form of money or food. It can be something that costs you both nothing. Get creative and have a joyful look on your face when you share that gift with others!

Looking for the positives in a sea of negatives

Feeling a little strange writing a post after such a violent and morbid week in our country.  But someone on Facebook mentioned “In times like this it’s really easy to just give up…with everything.  Not just fitness but life goals in general.  But now is the best time to exercise your mind and your body.  A time to heal.”

My pastor put it well this morning too in his homily…”Find the joy, even in times of evil and tragedy.”

On a lesser scale, we do tend to give up in times of struggle don’t we?  An injury will sideline us and leave us feeling like it’s just easier to give up rather than try to heal quickly or correctly.  A bad weekend of food bingeing or drink might make us feel like throwing in the towel and just buying all that processed food that we so adamantly swore off not too long ago.  A loss of life or a big life event might make us reconsider finishing up a project because we just don’t have the drive anymore.

But the time is more perfect than ever to get back up and try again.  To not give up…and not be a quitter.   Friday was a particularly difficult day in my own personal life after I got some discouraging news about a family member’s illness.  Obviously not trying to compare two events but this past week seemed particularly depressing for numerous reasons.

So this post is about the positives I have found in my little life this past week:

1.  I got to hang with my best friend and update her on all this figure stuff last night.  She even volunteered to make “Piccolo Supporter” t-shirts when it’s competition time. Too cute. (Of course I’m considering her letting her do this because lets face it, who WOULDN’T want their own cheering section with t-shirts!?)

2. I posted my progress pics with no serious side effects.  This was a hard thing for me to do, self reflection sucks.  But necessary and I’m very happy that I did.

3. I’m enjoying this global warming 60 degree weather today.  As I walked out of Yoga (yes Yoga) today I couldn’t help but smile and feel like after a tragedy like this, comes a re-birth.  I’m such a yogi. 😉

4. My nephew celebrated his 10th birthday on Saturday and he is such a thankful child. I’m very much the proud auntie.  Grateful I have not one but 2 adorable nephews to spoil.

5.  I still FEEL good.  I explained to my friend last night that although it was just 10lbs, I feel like I’ve lost more and never realized how much it was, literally, weighing me down.  Feels good to fit in clothes like they were meant to fit.

Time to go prep my food for this week and keep on truckin along on this fitness journey.

If you have a goal (and you know you do) don’t give up.

Don't give up!
Don’t give up!