I don’t have time to cook healthy. I don’t have time to go to a health food store and the regular grocery store. I don’t have time to exercise. I don’t have time to join another group in order to get healthy. I don’t even have time to sleep much less do all that other stuff. I’m busy trying to make my life full of God’s abundance.


Too Busy

It just feels like every minute of my day is jam packed full doing what God wants. It stresses me out to think of adding one more “to do” on my list.

Do you ever feel this way? I certainly did. I was trying to do everything I thought a good Christian should do. As a wife, mom, foster mom, work-at-home business owner, church member, small group leader, volunteer and member of numerous boards for Christian organizations, there was literally no time left for anything else.

I was too busy and it all it did was make me feel empty.


One day, it hit me. If I don’t do something about my health, I will for sure have no time left. Period. End of story.

There were many good things I was doing, but I saw clearly that I was not doing anything well or anything out of the proper motive. If someone asked me to be on a board of directors, I’d say, “Yes,” just to make them happy.

I didn’t stop to ask God if it was my assignment. I just jumped in to add another activity on my doing list.

Earning His Smile

No reason to ask Him because I thought He wanted me to do everything. I thought that was the way to earn His smile.

If one looked at my life they would see my behaviors were screaming, “I’m earning my way to heaven by my good works.” Of course, God tells us heaven is not earned. It’s a free gift we receive and nothing we can do will ever be enough for us to earn a ticket there.1

I saw the disconnect in my behaviors and my stated core belief about who God is.

Three Things

So I began asking Him, “What is the most important thing for me to do right now?”

I heard three things. These three have become the guide to how I live my life today. If it doesn’t fit into one of these categories, I don’t do it. Just three things, but these three changed my life.

  1. Be whole. As a triune being I am a body, soul and spirit.2 My soul is comprised of my mind, will and emotions. In order to be whole every part of me must be brought into union. I knew I had a lot of work to do in this area.
  1. Be healthy. Every part of me needed a health transformation.3 Although at the time, my body seemed the most unhealthy, as I began reworking my priorities I learned I was unhealthy in most every other way as well.
  1. Be happy or filled with joy.4 I had to admit I was not happy. I was very unhappy. Everything I was doing was designed to “earn” God’s smile on my life. I didn’t realize I already had His smile. He already approved of me even though I felt like a giant pile of manure.

Evaluating My Life

The real work began when I started evaluating everything I was doing in my life in terms of these three overriding priorities. I began slashing my to-do list. Board memberships, volunteer positions, unnecessary busy work went out the window.

I slashed everything off my agenda. I only added it back in if it fit in one of the three priority areas. I filled my days with exercise, learning to eat healthy, getting help from holistic doctors, going to a fitness trainer, attending a group designed to coach me on my wellness journey.

Watching television was replaced with a love and a calling I had shelved. Yes, writing became a primary focus, as well as spending quality time with Jesus. In the joy area, I began focusing on my primary relationships, starting first with my husband and children.


My stress-level immediately began to lower. I lost weight, but more than anything God began feeding me from His Word. There, I discovered His motivation for living life to the fullest. I found there is no end to His abundance.5

It’s like the story of the widow filling the jars with oil.6 As long as she had containers, the oil continued to flow and fill them to their brims.

As long as I am on this earth, as long as I am available to Him, as long as I am seeking Him, His oil will continually flow into me. First and foremost, though, I have to be here.

I’ve learned a real and abiding truth. As from God’s abundance I daily take, the great mystery of God reveals that His abundance forever and always still remains.



Need a group to help you on your health journey? I have two. Check them both out. Get on the wait list for the next session of my entry-level group #KickWeight. Or join the ongoing group, Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching Group. I coach both groups. I understand where you are. Believe me when I say, I’ve been there. Click on the titles for more information on starting your transformation journey.

1 Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT

2 1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT

3 Romans 12:1-2 NLT

4 Psalm 30:11 NIV

5 John 10:10 NLT

6 2 Kings 4:1-7 NLT

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.