The power of encouragement

Ingrid Friesen Moser, MA, RD has degrees in both Christian Formation (AMBS) and Nutrition (Goshen College) and worked in the fields of dietetics and wellness for over 20 years. She is the author of Body Talk: Speaking the Words of Health (Living Stewardship Series, Herald Press 2007) and has been the wellness consultant for The Corinthian Plan since its beginning in 2010. Ingrid is a member of Southside Fellowship in Elkhart, Indiana where her husband David Moser is the pastor.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV

The sun was shining, but the thermometer said five degrees Fahrenheit. Besides, the real gauge for me on days like this is the “feels like temperature,” and it was saying negative eight. If this wasn’t a day for staying in and staying warm I don’t know what is. Then my smart phone made the familiar “ding.” My neighborhood exercise buddies burst through my Friday morning plan with the familiar text message check-in about our weekly group run.

I had all the reasons to say no, even without the frigid temperature. I hadn’t run in weeks. I could really use a few solo runs first to get me back in shape. Then there was the long list of household jobs, all needing done before a busy weekend. And, if that wasn’t enough, there was my paid contract work that had barely been touched over the holidays.

First came the questioning check-in, “Are we running?”

Then the surprise, “Let’s layer it up and do it!”

Finally, after a long pause, I chimed in… “Ok. What time?”

I’d like to say I am strong enough to live this life well on my own, but I am not.

As you think about your own sense of health and well-being, who are you encouraging, and who is encouraging you?

If you are a part of The Corinthian Plan, the annual wellness incentives are meant to be an encouragement to you. The current wellness cycle runs through the end of February. That means there is still time to participate for the 2016-2017 year, if you act quickly. You can learn more about what is involved, and how to participate here. In addition to the encouragement to get on track with a healthy habit, or to reevaluate your goals and priorities, you and a covered spouse can earn up to $600.

A coaching conversation with Everence wellness coach, Trina Stutzman is one of the options in the wellness incentive. Talking with Trina has been a source of encouragement to me over the years, even when, and maybe particularly when, I am not keeping up with my goals the way I would like. Trina’s gentle yet insightful comments often come back to me when I need them. Last year she offered me this:

“Maybe it is a gift you give others when you let your authentic self out, and not push for a standard of perfection not easily attained by anyone.”

With my friends checking in, and Trina’s words still resonating in my mind, I layered it up. I went for that run knowing it will feel better next time because I went running this time. Along the path I discovered I had a story to tell, and share with you in this blog. And as for the household job? With renewed focus I am better able to prioritize. I can make sure the really important jobs get done, encourage my family to help with others, and actually let some of them go.

As you begin this New Year, go forward with encouragement and remember the encouraging power God has placed in you to build others up.