#7 – How to Nourish Your Soul & Be Happy in the Lord – by Michelle Barringer

Photo Credit: Johanna Froese Photography Look Up Sometimes (Pearl Allard)Crave Christ and Be Happy by guest author Michelle Barringer How to Nourish Your Soul & Be Happy in the Lord #7

Hello, Friend! Welcome to the seventh installment of the summer series How to Nourish Your Soul & Be Happy in the Lord. If you missed the introduction, click HERE.

Today’s guest author is Michelle Barringer. I met Michelle a couple years ago in the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild. Michelle’s unstoppable optimism rooted in Jesus makes me smile. But don’t let her positivity fool you! A marriage 30+ years, three children, a career, and a grandson later — she’s experienced some life! Her roots hold firm though, and she’s passionate about cheerleading others on in the faith. She’s encouraged me a great deal, and it’s a joy to share Michelle’s words with you!


Crave Christ and Be Happy

Blessed are those who crave Christ for they will be happy in the Lord. It’s not a beatitude (the supreme blessings Jesus pronounced in His  Sermon on the Mount)– but it should be!

I like nothing better than sharing about Jesus. I love lending my faith, encouraging hearts, and inspiring grit.

When Pearl asked me to write for her nourishment series, immediately I said, “Yes!”

One thing I’ve learned, Pearl likes to dig deep into God’s Word. She provided intriguing questions that challenged me to think deeply about both nourishment and happiness in the Lord. Now, I have a question: Do nourishment and happiness in the Lord influence the other? Read ahead for my answer, (and feel free to comment with yours)!

Blessed are those who crave Christ for they will be happy in the Lord. ~Michelle Barringer Click To Tweet

True Story Ahead

Jesus knows I’m NOT a morning person, but each morning I rise at 4:50 a.m. to spend time with Him. Eyes half-opened, I make my first cup of coffee, feed my dog, and greet my husband, who’s ready to talk at 5 a.m. I’m a don’t-talk-to-me kind of morning person. After 30+ years of marriage, my husband knows while my body may be up, my brain is still snoozing.

Somehow I manage to talk with God in the morning. My first words are always “Good Morning, Lord!”

Friends, this takes grit. It’s not easy. It’s a sacrifice. Every. Single. Day. But I’m motivated to keep meeting with Him, because my soul’s nourishment and happiness depend on it.

Fostering Cravings

Photo Credit: Johanna Froese Photography Look Up Sometimes (Pearl Allard)Crave Christ and Be Happy by guest author Michelle Barringer How to Nourish Your Soul & Be Happy in the Lord #7

Have you experienced food cravings? With all three of my pregnancies I had major cravings. With my first child I craved meat sandwiches, with my second mashed potatoes, and with my third chocolate-chip muffins. Feasting on these foods made me a happy mama.

1 Peter 2:2-3 says, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

One morning this spring, I experienced a “tasty” encounter with Jesus. During this morning feast, I realized I crave Jesus. I HAD to read His word. Feasting on His Word makes me a happy child of the Lord.

I am to foster my craving for God's Word so I can be nourished, grow, and be happy! ~Michelle Barringer Click To Tweet

Cap’n Crunch vs. Steak & Eggs

For nearly three years, I’ve been rising early and giving Jesus my first. This act of obedience has become more than just sacrificing sleep. God is nourishing me and blessing me with a happy soul.

Research shows breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it influences every other aspect of our day. A healthy breakfast:

  • Raises energy level
  • Increases vigor
  • Decreases stress
  • Increases cognitive ability
  • Increases pleasant emotions: happiness!

If physical food does this, how much more will spiritual food influence every aspect of our day?

But look what happens when we skip breakfast:

  • Increases risk of disease
  • Makes us forgetful
  • Makes us tired
  • Makes us mean!
  • Increases unhealthy cravings later in the day

It’s not just that we eat. What we eat matters too. It’s the difference between eating Cap’n Crunch or steak & eggs for breakfast. One provides empty calories. One nourishes us.

I used to read the daily newspaper every morning rather than God’s Word. I’d leave for work edgy. I’d get mad if someone cut me off. I’d arrive to work tense and tired.

When I started giving God my first every morning, I stopped reading the newspaper. I noticed I felt better. My patience with drivers increased. My muscles weren’t tense. I was singing. My heart was happy, not crappy.

When I started giving God my first every morning, my heart was happy, not crappy. ~Michelle Barringer Click To Tweet

I may crave sleep, but I crave Jesus more. Spending time with Jesus is my first breakfast of the day. This meal nourishes me, increases my energy, sets my mind on good news, and makes my soul happy.

Need a Boost?

Do you need an energy boost to nourish you today? Does your soul need some happiness?

Feast on God’s Word first thing every day and be blessed. Blessed are those who crave Christ for they will be happy in the Lord!


Michelle is positive, joyful, and passionate about Jesus. She’s a writer and speaker who lends her faith, encourages hearts, and inspires grit.

Fun is a key motivator! Michelle happily admits she’s an Enneagram 7 personality type, an enthusiastic visionary. She finds great pleasure in celebrating even the smallest victory (like not burning supper).

Michelle holds a Master’s degree in Communication and is a Gallup-certified Strengths Coach. She is the Employee Development Specialist at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN.

Michelle is married to Bob, her one and only, for nearly 32 years. They enjoy walking around lakes, watching “Deadliest Catch” together, and celebrating their children’s accomplishments.

She loves being a mom to her three adult children, daughter-in-law, and soon-to-be son-in-law, and she’s has warned them anything they do or say can and most likely will be written about. The newest member to her family is her sweet grandson, James.

She lives in the Twin Cities, MN.

 

Connect with Michelle:

Join Michelle Monday-Friday for “Morning Musings” on her blog: www.michellebarringer.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lendingfaithandencouraginghearts/
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/michellerbarringer/
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-barringer-43a32518/
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/michellebarring/

18 thoughts on “#7 – How to Nourish Your Soul & Be Happy in the Lord – by Michelle Barringer

  1. Thanks, Michelle, for your words. I am guilty of reading my email first. I’m in need of a morning routine reversal – even after mannnnnnny years of being a Christian. You have inspired me – not the first time! Love you!

    1. Leslie! I love your “morning routine reversal” phrase! Like you, I’ve been a Christian mannnnnny years, but it’s only been the last three years of all those years that I’ve been giving God the first of my day. So, while I understand feelings of guilt (because I too have felt them many times), I think we embrace the feeling of gratefulness because God is in the business of transformation and no more condemnation. We get to keep moving forward one day at a time, learning, growing, and planning to give God our first. Even if the first means saying, “Good morning, Lord!” before we say or do anything else. He appreciates that.
      Love you bunches, my dear friend.
      P.S. You inspire me too. You just have no idea how your life’s sunshine and sorrows have had a lasting impact on me.

    2. Leslie, I’m with you. I occasionally check email first and then always wish I hadn’t! Thankful for this online community of sisters in Christ. Thank you so much for your presence here, Leslie!

  2. This blesses my heart friend! Awesome and inspiring Michelle. So full of truth. Blessings dear sister in Christ. Thank you Pearl for having Michelle share.

    1. Nikki! Hi!! You are a faithful friend and sister-in-Christ. Thanks for always being one of my personal cheerleaders! So happy this blessed and inspired you too. I was as well writing it. God is good all the time!

    1. Debra, if I could put flashing,blinking lights in this comment I would! 🙂
      Thanks for your kind words. And yes, 4:50 is early, early, early! I’m so glad Jesus doesn’t expect my best at that time, just my first!

    2. Debbie, I know, right? I’m not sure I’ll start waking earlier (any other night owls here?), but Michelle has inspired me to be more vigilant against distractions first thing in the morning. I always appreciate your comments, Debbie!

  3. I like what you said about reading God’s Word instead of the newspaper first thing every morning. I read something an old-time preacher wrote in a book that appeared during the previous century. He said he didn’t even read headlines of the morning paper before praying and reading God’s Word. Wow! That has really helped me!

    1. Hi Roberta, I totally agree with you. I had read the newspaper for decades. I loved sitting down in the morning with my cup of coffee and newspaper. It was really hard to give up and yet what a treasure I found because I did. I’m never going back to reading the newspaper in the morning. In fact, we actually cancelled our subscription three years ago. Same month I started getting up early to give God my first. May the Lord bless you.

    2. Roberta, I’m with you. Instead of checking my email first thing, I want to more consistently start with God. It definitely sets the tone of the day. Appreciate your presence here!

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