Editor’s Note: This is the fifth piece in our January series on Loving God with All We’ve Got. We talked last week about Loving God with our Minds, but turn the focus this week to Loving God with our Bodies.
At the start of a new year, many women naturally think about implementing new practices for physical and spiritual health. When I think about physical health and a disciplined life, I think about my friend, Teri Thompson. Teri not only exemplifies health and fitness in her own life, but her example rubbed off on her children, who value them as well. I had a blast sitting down with Teri and her adult daughter, Tallie, to chat about how they have been able to create and maintain healthy habits. We talked about physical fitness, health, and nutrition, as well as how they affect our spiritual lives.
Teri has been active as long as she can remember, yet doesn’t consider herself naturally gifted in one particular sport. Rather than being discouraged by this, Teri views it as a blessing that she was able to enjoy many types of sports and athletic pursuits, rather than being tied to one sport. She learned early on that moving, pushing herself, and being part of a team were truly life-giving to her, so she has continued an active lifestyle for decades. As a mom of young children, she found ways to get her kids outside to move and play, even walking to the grocery store when the weather was nice. As a family, the Thompsons included exercise on their vacations as they hiked, ran on the beach, biked, or explored a new city.
Tallie followed the example of both her parents and has been physically active throughout her life. As an adult working full-time and balancing an active social life, Tallie found it more difficult to stay active, even though the desire was there. She shared with me some things she has found to be extremely helpful, including accountability, consistency, and making exercise a part of your weekly calendar just like work or meeting with your community group.
Both Teri and Tallie have also made some intentional changes to their diets, each for different reasons, and they shared with me their motivation and encouragement for anyone hoping to make healthy dietary changes this year. These ladies are so incredibly practical and down to earth - they truly make living a life of physical self-discipline seem attainable and even FUN.
My very favorite part of our conversation was when Teri shared the ways her physical fitness connects directly with her relationship with the Lord. She reminded me that our bodies are a gift from God, to be used for His glory, for as long as we are on earth. I loved the picture she painted as she shared her dream of running and playing with her grandkids, traveling the world on mission trips, and serving her community with a strong body because it’s the only earthly body she will ever get.
One of Teri’s favorite scriptures pertaining to physical health is 1 Timothy 4:8 which reminds us, “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” As she lives out this truth, Teri is an encouragement for me to care for the body I’ve been given and lead my children to serve the Lord with their bodies and lives.
I hope you will listen to the entire conversation here, because Teri and Tallie are full of wisdom and encouragement for women in every stage of health and fitness.
Click the link below to listen to the podcast episode:
What about you: what have you found to help make physical fitness a part of your week? How have you seen a connection between food choices and exercise? How does your physical health impact you spiritually?
Meet the Author!
Heather McAnear is a wife, mom, author and speaker with a passion for sharing God's truth to help women understand their uniquely beautiful design and how to use it for God's glory! In fact, Heather hosts the Uniquely Beautiful Stories podcast on iTunes in hopes do just that! She loves teaching young married couples with her husband, homeschooling their three children, traveling the world, enjoying good chocolate and long conversations in coffee shops. CRBC has been her church home for two decades and she is thrilled to be part of the Women's Ministry team, helping women connect with each other and grow in their walk with Jesus!