TAKING CARE OF
By Inside Out with Courtnaye
am having an afternoon chat with my faith-filled sister in Christ, Alida Sharp and we are going to be talking about “Taking Care of Our Temples.” But before we get started, I want to let you know that Alida serves as a missionary in the country of Belize where she works as a counselor and advocate for children and women who’ve been abused, exploited, or experienced trauma. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Tom Sharp, since 1981 and they have two children and two perfect grandchildren. She is a singer, speaker, devotional writer, and a fitness enthusiast. She also enjoys Bible study, bodybuilding, and baking gluten-free cookies.
Courtnaye – Woohoo! I am so glad that you are here with us today, Alida. Are you ready?
Alida - Yes, I am so ready! Thank you for this opportunity, Courtnaye.
Courtnaye - Absolutely! Now, I know you are very passionate about health and fitness. So how did your fitness journey begin, Alida?
Alida – Well, I’m a body builder now, but my fitness journey began eight years ago with a challenge that was issued through a group that I belong to. The challenge was to walk 30-minutes a day for 100 days, and out of the 40 of us, I was the only one who finished (we’re both chuckling)! I grew up with four brothers, so if you dare me to do something, I’m going to do it. So it started with a dare.
Courtnaye – Wow! Talk about determination and commitment! And look at you today! You’re so strong. I can see those muscles.
Alida – Those have come with a lot of hard work, but I’m grateful for the way God has designed our bodies and for the health and strength that He gives me at my age to keep doing this.
Courtnaye – You’re definitely an example out there. Hey! I’m working out today (laughing)! Personally, I don’t like working out, but I’m doing it (and my husband is a gym owner). Crazy right?! Okay, let's shift a bit. You have a devotion on YouVersion, right now. Woohoo! That’s exciting! How did you come up with the devotional? Can you tell us a little more about that?
Alida – Well, the title of the devotional came from a hashtag that I started using. It’s #praysweateatrepeat. I started using that because it described perfectly the rhythm that I follow in my life. I realized that God was using these daily habits – these small choices to transform my life. And again, I am so grateful and in awe of how He designed our bodies to function. I just wanted to share this with other people. So when I got the opportunity, the first thought in my mind was, “Ah! I get to share #praysweateatrepeat!”
Courtnaye – And with so many people, too!
Alida – Yes! It’s been such a blessing, and the feedback that I’ve gotten has just been amazing to see how God is using this. I’m just so grateful.
Courtnaye – It is a blessing! I’ve downloaded it and dear reader, go ahead and start this devotional. It’s life-changing and very practical. So let’s move along a bit further. Alida, tell us what is the connection between faith and fitness for you?
Alida – Well, we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. So to me, everything is connected. This body that we live in is God’s temple and I believe that the temple that we inhabit needs to be a reflection of His glory.
Courtnaye - Amen!
Alida - And I’m not saying everyone should be a bodybuilder, but I am saying that we each should seek the highest form of health that we can personally achieve - whatever that is for you. My mom is 83 years old and has some health challenges, yet she’s eating as best as she can. She’s getting as much sleep as she can. She’s drinking as much water as she can. So she’s seeking the highest form of health for her at this stage of life. And I believe that’s what each of us are supposed to do.
Courtnaye – Gotcha!
Alida – So when I changed my mindset from exercise being a punishment to seeing it as a privilege and a way to honor God, that’s what brought joy to this difficult process of getting up and going into the gym to train 5-days a week. Faith and fitness are connected because our bodies are the temple of God.
Courtnaye – So true! It’s all about perspective. I believe that we do need to take care of our bodies, especially with all of the things that we do. We need the endurance and strength.
Alida – Right.
Courtnaye –Alida, do you have an encouraging word for the women who are reading or listening today?
Alida – Yes. I think the journey to wellness is unique to each one of us. Some of us find the path early, but some people like me find it after our 50’s. But no matter where you are on that path, just let God guide your steps. It’s never the wrong time to start listening to His voice, practicing gratitude, or learning the pattern of godly habits, because it’s those small daily choices that we make that have the power to transform our lives. We can be and do all the things that He’s called us to be and do, but it starts with those small daily choices.
Courtnaye – There you have it, my sister! So good! Small daily habits. One bite and one step at a time. Alida, you are strong in health and your faith and I love how you’re bold enough to share your life with us. I see that online a lot with you.
Alida – I do appreciate those words. We lost my dad and our nephew, and now I’m taking care of my mom. It has been a hard season, but God has taught me so many lessons and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share.
Courtnaye – Thank you so much, Sister! Connect with Alida, my dear reader! You can connect with her at www.alidasharp.com, www.praysweateatrepeat.com (her blog), and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter under the name @iamalidasharp (connect from the icons above). Until next time, let's take care of our temples!
LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE...