evergreen wellness

Wellness: Becoming Intentionally Evergreen

There are so many days when I feel I’m just too old or too broken to be used by God. It’s on those days that I’m encouraged by David’s words: 

“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.” Psalm 52:8 (ESV) 

like an evergreen; intentional #olivetreesaints
provided by Terri Sutula

You see, olive trees are evergreen. That means their foliage stays green and functional through more than one season. Just like that olive tree, we can remain “green” and functional throughout all the seasons of our lives. 

We know that God can use us anytime, anywhere, and in any condition. But as Christ-followers, we may want to be more intentional in preparing ourselves to be used. One way we can do this is to cultivate wellness. So often, we get so busy taking care of everyone else, we forget to make our own health and wellness a priority. 

Now at this point, you may be thinking, “But my health isn’t good, and there’s nothing I can do to change that.” That’s where the concept of wellness comes in. Though the term ‘wellness’ these days is used more by the ‘wellness products’ industry to mean all the things that make you feel better, it’s something much deeper.  

Where sometimes our health just “is what it is,” wellness is much more inclusive and active.  

What Is Wellness?

According to UC Davis, “wellness is the process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth. The National Wellness Center adds,

“wellness is multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment.” 

That means our wellness isn’t dependent on one facet of our health. It’s a holistic look at how we’re making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life, changing and growing through each season of life, and remaining ‘evergreen’ throughout. There are different dimensions of wellness, all of them overlapping and affecting our overall wellness. Let’s take a look at some of the different dimensions: 

Dimensions of Wellness

There are quite a few different wellness models, with various numbers of dimensions of wellness included, but one useful one is from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Here’s how they define each dimension of wellness: 

  • Spiritual:Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life 
  • Emotional:Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships 
  • Intellectual:Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills 
  • Physical:Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods and sleep 
  • Environmental:Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being 
  • Financial:Satisfaction with current and future financial situations 
  • Occupational:Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work 
  • Social:Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system 
evergreen wellness
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What If We’re Not Doing Well with Our Wellness?

As we talked about earlier, God can use us, even if we’re not where we want to be in any area of our wellness, but I always think of Paul’s word to us in Romans, 

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a livingsacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1 (ESV) 

Because God has done so much for us, we can show our gratitude by offering our bodies as living sacrifices, realizing that by taking care of ourselves, we’re performing an act of worship. We’re making sure we remain “like the green olive tree in the house of the Lord.” 

How Do We Stay ‘Evergreen’?

I don’t know about you, but as I get older and experience some health challenges, I find that God has changed the way He uses me. As we go through different seasons, we may not be able to do the things we used to do, but we can still be useful if we stay open to His leading. 

Maybe we can’t run children’s camps or work in the kitchen anymore, but we help mentor younger Christians. Or maybe we can’t take on the commitment involved in teaching a Sunday School class, but we can help with some of the administrative duties. And even if we’re not able to do much of anything that requires us to physically be somewhere, we can pray. 

I’ve had the awesome privilege of teaching a couple of different older ladies’ Sunday School classes, and I’ve had more than one person say, “I can’t do anything but pray” and my reply is always that if God gives us the privilege of praying for others, we’re blessed. As Oswald Chambers reminds us,

“Prayer does not equip us for greater works – prayer is the greater work.” 

As we cultivate our wellness and grow in our faith; as God uses us in various ways; we can say, like David,

But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;

I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.

Psalm 52:8 (NASB) 

Think about it

Have you ever felt you couldn’t be used by God because of your health, circumstances, etc.? How does the thought that you can be evergreen like the olive tree encourage you? Please share! 

Blessings, 

~Terri 

Terri is a child of God, wife, and mother. She’s also an incredibly flawed Christ-follower who wants to be available to God for whatever He gives her to do in this later chapter of her life. As a certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach, and Nutrition Coach, she wants to help others be as healthy as is possible for them.  

Connect with Terri at

Another "Intentional Guest Post", studying scriptures that begin with "But as for me..." What are you being intentional about this year? Wellness?
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Sources

https://shcs.ucdavis.edu/wellness/what-is-wellness

https://samhsa.gov

https://nationalwellness.org/resources/six-dimensions-of-wellness

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