Rejuvenate Your Body and Spirit
Laura J. Bagby
CBN.com Sr. Producer
CBN.com You are way beyond stressed and if this frenetic pace doesn’t let up soon, you are headed for a meltdown. No ordinary massage, pedicure, or trip to the salon will lift your spirits. Not this time. What you need is a total makeover – the kind that revitalizes the very core of your being and beautifies you from the inside out.
“If you are living one lifestyle and longing for another, then you need a spa for the soul,” notes author Lucinda Secrest McDowell. “You need to intentionally set aside time to be still and know that He is God, as Psalm 46 says.”
McDowell’s latest book, appropriately titled Spa for the Soul (Broadman & Holman, 2006), offers women a renewed sense of balance and calm. Don’t let the book’s small, coffee-table-size fool you; this is not some shallow, cutesy writing brimming with pithy sayings.
Instead, McDowell, a 50-year-old Southern transplant to New England and teen Bible study leader of a group called Girlz4God, cleverly intermingles a woman’s desire for physical purification and improvement with her deeper need for spiritual cleansing through the love of God – going beyond skin deep to touching the true source of a woman’s life and beauty, the heart.
“If women could just get a hold of that concept that when they live in God’s love, when they live in forgiveness, when they live from a healthy heart within, it actually makes them more beautiful outside and they are empowered to do incredible things,” McDowell says.
The idea for the book was birthed out of four years of the author’s personal struggles, and it’s written as one who has “been there.”
“I really am a recovering POW, prisoner of works,” McDowell admits, “believing that if I didn’t do it all and do it all right and perfect that God would be mad at me.”
Through Christ, McDowell has not only overcome her perfectionistic, striving spirit, but she has overcome a food addiction and subsequent obesity as well. McDowell has been able to find victory in her life because she has relinquished herself to what she terms the “Master’s massage,” meaning she has learned how to be touched by the unconditional love of God.
And instead of disregarding physical beauty as being somehow less important, McDowell champions it, adding “as much time, energy, and money we spend on the outer, we need to be devoting at least that much, if not more, to our souls, to our inner.” Looking at Queen Esther in the Bible as a perfect example, McDowell explains, “Yes, she was physically beautiful, and, yes, she did go through a whole year of spa treatments, but it had to take a beauty from within for her to be brave enough to go to the king and to save her people when she knew what the consequences would normally be.”
Only eight chapters, each short section of the book has a Spiritual Personal Assessment (SPA for short), which includes a Scripture reading suggestion, journaling idea, questions for discussion, and a practical spa treatment.
If you need to jumpstart your spiritual growth and get your body back in shape, then spend quality time with God and have your own personal “spa.”
Send Laura your comments.
For more information, check out McDowell’s Web site, encouragingwords.net. Other books by this author include What We’ve Learned So Far, Quilts From Heaven, Amazed by Grace, A Southern-Style Christmas, and Women’s Spiritual Passages. McDowell has also contributed to Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul 2.
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