From Gritted Teeth to Living Well

by Tina Yeager @tyeagerwrites

“We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.”                      Colossians 1:10-12 MSG

 After tumbling out of bed, I stagger to the light switch and gasp at the bedraggled creature squinting at me from the bathroom mirror. Despite hopes a steamy washcloth would renew my motivation, it seems the aquifer can’t produce enough water to freshen my attitude.

I chug a triple-venti on the way to work. My heartbeat speeds up, and minor irritants grate on every raw nerve now pulsing with caffeine.

Demands slither around my waist, tethering me to the task chair through lunch. At last the hour of freedom rings. I spring from the desk and race to my car, only to sit imprisoned in traffic. Despite its consistent failure to hasten my trip, I commence the daily routine of arguing with drivers who cannot hear me. Errands carve detours into the drive–groan in line at the post office; pick up something for so-and-so; they said the church meeting would only last an hour. . .

Teeth gritted, I return home and dump myself onto the couch. With a tray of quick dinner in my lap, I click on the news. Thirty minutes of journalistic slant on the horrors of mankind settles into my thoughts with a thousand half-chewed calories. I nod off twice before dragging myself toward another restless night. By morning, the creature in the mirror looks worse and I assume I’m overdue for vacation.

Do you know this routine? No one plans to live in these ruts. We all wish for happiness, energy, and fulfillment. Those of us mired in fatigue rarely take time to think about the unhealthiness of this cycle.

Sometimes we resolve to make drastic shifts we can’t maintain, and their failure returns us to the original routine. A wish without an effective plan becomes a regret.

As humans, we fall short of the wisdom and strength required to plan or maintain optimizing our lives. Thankfully, we aren’t doomed to dwell in misery or regret. Instead of resorting to a humanistic wellness plan, we can turn to divine guidance. God, who embodies true wellness, can inhabit each part of our day and infinitely enhance life’s joy, revitalization, and meaning.

With Christ’s empowerment, we can open our eyes each morning with praises. We can stretch while honoring the Maker of our limbs. Smiles greet us at the mirror. Silent prayers weave through our workday’s demands and we take prayer-walk breaks. Rush hour drivers don’t hear us praying for them, nor do they hear praise music on our car radios. But if gazes lock, our grins prove contagious. The Spirit relaxes our errand runs to replace gritted teeth with kind smiles.

With water to remind us of the wellspring of our souls, we can enjoy salad while watching an inspiring film. Before it gets too late, we’ll pray Scriptures over our lives and climb into a more restful night’s sleep.

Instead of existing in unhealthy ruts, may we all enjoy the Lord’s strength to live well for Him this year. “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Ephesians 3:16 NIV).

From Gritted Teeth to Living Well – insight from @tyeagerwrites on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Tina YeagerAbout the author: Award-winning author, speaker, licensed counselor, and life coach, Tina Yeager encourages audiences to fulfill their potential. She offers writing workshops through Serious Writer Academy, hosts the Flourish-Meant podcast, and is a mentor with Word Weavers International.

Tina’s book, Beautiful Warrior, empowers you to break free from the insecurity that has you trapped. Pick up your shield―the Word of God, your identity in Christ, and healthy thought patterns―and become the divine heroine you were destined to be.

Join the conversation: What steps have you taken to live well?

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