Then the daughters of Zelophehad came forward. …The names of his daughters were: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. They stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders, and all the congregation at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and they said, “… Give to us a possession among our father’s brothers.”(emphasis mine)…
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: The daughters of Zelophehad are right in what they are saying; you shall indeed let them possess an inheritance…
–Numbers 27:1-4, 6
At the end of January on the My Quiet Spaces Retreat at Sea cruise, 130 women (and a few men) cruised to Cozumel, Mexico where we were met with blue skies and balmy temperatures – which was a welcome change for some of us who left chilly weather back in the States. I can’t make it warmer where you are, but I can share some of the joy we experienced in our workshops.
I was excited to join four Upper Room Books authors who gave us inspirational and creative presentations that expanded our experience of wellness. Patricia Wilson, whose writings launched the My Quiet Spaces movement, led us in an exploration of the brain and the value of using music to tap the creativity of the right side of our brain, the creative and artistic side. With a fresh interpretation of Jonah and the whale, Jane Herring reminded us that we can write using scripture as a healing practice to “release” or “bless” challenging people and situations. Kristen E. Vincent gave suggestions on how to use prayer beads as a practice that would allow us to explore our feelings and release trauma. J. Dana Trent led us in three meditative practices for renewal, relaxation, and wellness.
For my presentation, I revisited the daughters of Zelophehad, one of the six Bible stories of bold women from my book, Live Healthy and Be Well: Create an Action Plan. They captured my attention because they were not only bold, but they knew what they wanted. These bold sisters walked in faith, not fear. They caught my imagination for three reasons:
- They were not only bold, but they were clear and specific about what they wanted.
- They believed they deserved to have their own inheritance despite cultural norms that said only male relatives could inherit.
- They approached the male leaders together because they knew they had more power if they supported each other.
We can see that their act of courage was rewarded. God agreed with their bold assertion by stating that the daughters of Zelophehad are right! God decides in their favor and instructs the leaders to give them their inheritance. You, too, have an inheritance—an inheritance of wellness, of joy, of abundance. What will it take for you to know what you want and to step up and boldly ask for it? Let me offer a tool I provided in the workshop that has guided women 1) to focus on what they need to be healthy and well and 2) to reflect on what steps to take to make it happen.
I gave the women my Wellness Affirmations Worksheet, a fun and easy way to identify specific practices that will give you more joy and wellness. Take a bold approach and try something new. Share your plan with someone who will support you. Affirmations that encourage you to feel good about what you are already doing for wellness are on one side of the sheet. (Example: I eat at least 3-4 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.) On the other side of the worksheet is where you can write ideas for new practices to include in your wellness lifestyle.
I hope you will complete the Worksheet with practices that will energize you to boldly ask for what you need and want. Will starting a volunteer project improve your wellness? Does walking outside for 20 minutes bring you joy? Give yourself one amazing treat each week. Please contact me and share practices or affirmations that inspire you to be bold. The Daughters of Zelophehad supported each other. Allow your family and friends to support and encourage you. Wellness and joy are gifts from God. You deserve to have both.