Let’s Be Free in ’23!

As we conclude our Christmas celebrations and transition into New Year’s, I pray the shift is subtle. Why?  Because Jesus came for the new, and these two holidays could beautifully align. Yet the patterns of this world (Romans 12:1-2) seem to diminish the connection between Christmas and the new year.

While the world tells us to eat and drink and be merry during Christmas, this same world then tells us to restrict, count, and track all that we eat and drink to kick off the new year.  While the world tells us to give and love and serve others during Christmas, it then tells us to focus on self-improvement and define challenging yet achievable fitness goals to improve ourselves in our own strength.  So what if we renewed our minds and pursued the freedom in Christ our Christmas holiday celebrates?

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 CSB

Thankfully I see our world expanding it’s New Year’s marketing strategies for good, but I also pray that the world’s recommendations in general don’t serve as the foundation of your hope for 2023.  Instead, I pray that we seek to be free in ’23.

Jesus, You came to earth to set the captives free. We praise You for the freedom we find in You alone! Thank You for the truth and grace of Your Word, and the hope, peace, joy and love we experience through our relationship with You. As we enter into a new year, we pray for Your freedom – freedom from control, fear, insecurities, performance, addictions, planning, past hurt, shame, unforgiveness, pride, etc. And as we spend time with You and go about our day, may You clear our minds, calm our souls, fill our hearts, and strengthen our bodies. Fill us with Your radiant glory – we praise You for being our abundant Light. Burn bright within us. In Your name, Amen!

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 CSB

Now this ‘free’ is not freedom in thoughts, words, or actions as in the ‘you do you’ mantra, but rather freedom in your body and soul!  For Holy Barre, it’s transformation from what the world says about health and fitness into His glorious reflection of wellness!  A renewing of your mind that overflows into your body and soul and then on to others! (Romans 12:1-2)

“For you were called to be free, brothers and sisters; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.”

Galatians 5:13 CSB

Our current YouVersion Reading plan reminded us of the greatest commandments to love God and love others.  And then to use these truths as the foundation of our plans and resolutions for the new year.  Love it!

Beyond that, Jesus entered this world to set the captives free. We are such captives as we become enslaved to sin and the ways of this world. So as we transition from Christmas into New Years, let’s keep our gaze on Christ.

“For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:1 CSB

Thanks to the incredible gift of Christ’s life, teaching, crucifixion, death, and resurrection, we have the Spirit now living inside of us.  So we have freedom. Let’s seek to live in that freedom!

“Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s temple and that the Spirit of God lives in you?”

1 Corinthians 3:16 CSB

“Now, the “Lord” I’m referring to is the Holy Spirit, and wherever he is Lord, there is freedom. We can all draw close to him with the veil removed from our faces. And with no veil we all become like mirrors who brightly reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus. We are being transfigured into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another. And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 TPT

I love that use of ‘bright’ in this passage in The Passion Translation. And ‘mirrors’.  Holy Barre desires to cultivate an environment in which the Lord can light a fire in our soul. During our workouts, your muscles will burn. But we pray even more the Lord ignites a fire in your soul that burns bright for all to see.  

Most group fitness studios have mirrors to assist with posture, form, and movement.  While seeing our position is valuable, I also realize that many use these mirrors as a source of comparison and critique.  Yet what if these mirrors reflected the glory of the Lord Jesus, burning bright for all to see? And let’s not forget that ‘those who look to the Lord are radiant; their faces will not be covered with shame. (Psalm 34:5).

Yet if you’re entering the new year weary or have a sense that this coming year might have more burdens than blessings, cling to these words of Jesus:

““Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.””

Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

So as you define your plan for the new year and/or set some resolutions, please seek His guidance and truth.  I realize for many of us, we still like tangible, clearly defined goals. Here are some current opportunities to encourage your pursuit of His freedom in the new year. Let’s be free in ’23!

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.””

John 8:32 CSB

Holy Barre Workouts – if you’re in the Edmond area, we’d LOVE for you to join us weekly for either our two free classes at All Fit Collective – Tuesdays at 6:00pm and Thursdays at 10:00am. We also have Holy Barre workouts available on YouTube and will be creating new worship-filled workouts regularly in 2023 designed for home participation.

Wellness Revelation Small Group – beginning Thursday, January 12, at 2:00pm, a new group of women will go through the amazing study, Wellness Revelation. We’d love for you to join us! It’s a comprehensive, faith-based, health and fitness study that aligns truth and freedom to His design for wellness. To learn more and sign up, click here.

YouVersion Bible Reading Plans – each week we go through bible plans as a group. These plans provide daily devotionals, scripture readings, and optional group commenting. Our current plan is always linked on the landing page of holybarre.org, and you can click here to join our first plan on 2023 – Freely & Lightly.

Bible Recap – if you’d like to dive deeper into His Word, join me (Libby) in going through the Bible Recap with Tara Leigh Coble. While it may take two years to get through the whole Bible, this amazing podcast takes us through the entire book. Find the Bible Recap wherever you access podcasts. If you plan to join, email info@holybarre.org to let us know!

Revelation Wellness’ Food Is Not the Boss of Me – Revelation Wellness is kicking off an awesome program for the new year based on the principles of intuitive eating and the truth of scripture. You can learn more and sign up here!

Image Restored Book Launch – this new book will be launching in March, and we’re invited to be part of its initial efforts. This book by Rachael Gilbert is an inside-out approach to healing body image through professional guidance, coloring pages, Scripture, prayers, journaling prompts, and teaching videos to help you experience true freedom. To sign up, click here.

Moving Your Body in Love – if you’re looking to increase your movement, I highly recommend Revelation Wellness’s podcast episodes entitled Revving the Word. These are intended to be listened to while walking, running, biking, or any other full-body movement. (The Be Still & Loved ones are also very valuable because rest is necessary). In addition, you can find online workouts at RevWellTV.

And if you’re in Edmond, we’d love to have you at All Fit Collective for lots of fun fitness options surrounded by encouraging and amazing women! Our bodies are good – let’s move them in love and freedom! All Fit Collective is having a free Open House Party on Saturday morning, January 7!

“So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.”

John 8:36 CSB

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