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I'm Morgan Strehlow - writer and host of the Sanctuary Woman podcast.

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On this episode of Sanctuary Woman, I want to invite you to reconnect your mind, with your body, through awareness of your body, listening to what your body is communicating to you. What God is communicating to you, through your body. Your body that God made in their very own image. In your body that God made very good.

God created us as whole, integrated embodied beings, and your body is no lesser you, no lesser good, than your mind and spirit are.

In Ephesians we are described as God’s handiwork, God’s masterpiece.

As such, our physical self must not be overlooked or neglected in our spiritual lives as we approach God in prayer and in worship. May we use our full bodies as we offer our full selves to God, that in us and through us God may move and work and make peace on this very Earth, in this very life. In this very body.

If you want to reconnect with God, I’d suggest that reconnecting with your body is one of the best places to begin.

That’s what we’re going to do in this episode, using a body scan meditation as a tool for prayer and worship.

Breath naturally and close your eyes. Focus on your breath, every inhale and every exhale.

Invite the holy spirit in to heal and restore the tangible, the intangible. Whether that’s a virus or a disorder that has burdened your body, or an insecurity, or a memory of a past trauma, that your body is still holding on to. Invite God’s peace into the places in and on your body where war is raging, where shame is raging.

Just as God breathed life into all humanity when he created Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, ask God to breathe new life inside of you once again, ask God to be present in your body where you need to feel God’s presence.

Relax, but stay aware of your body, and of God.

Now bring awareness to the tips of your toes. As you continue inhaling and exhaling, notice the bottom of your feet, your ankles. Bring attention to your calves, slowly moving your awareness toward your knees. Ask God to make peace known and present in the legs you stand on. The feet that carry God’s image in and around this world. If your legs or your feet don’t allow you to comfortably stand or walk, may peace be in them too.

Direct your attention up your thighs, between your legs, and around to your hips, and your pelvic floor. Continue inhaling and exhaling, as you notice the curves, notice the tension. Become aware of what feelings you are experiencing right now. Ask God to make peace known and present in and around your pelvic region. Ask God to rid you of your anxieties, of your stress, to rid you of any tension you may be holding here.

Now bring awareness to the full length of your spine, up the neck and to the top of your head. Continue inhaling and exhaling as you ask for God to bring peace to your central nervous system.

Direct attention across your shoulders. To the tops of your arms, past your elbows, and all the way down to your wrists and fingers. Ask God to make peace known and present in the hands you use to create, to feed, to work, to serve, to pleasure.

Now notice your abdomen and bring awareness inward to your organs. Bring awareness to your reproductive system. Your uterus. Your ovaries. If you have them. Become aware of what feelings you are experiencing right now as you notice God here. Continue inhaling and exhaling as you ask God to bring peace to your womb, to your most inner parts.

Direct your attention up to your heart and your lungs. Ask God for healing and peace and resilience. Ask for special care, for strength, for your lungs through and beyond this pandemic.

Now bring awareness to your entire body all at once. Ask God for the ongoing peace that surpasses your understanding, with the knowledge that you have been fearfully and wonderfully made.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Now let’s respond to a God who is present in us and through us, a God who created us, who only creates very good things. As I read from Psalm 139, you are invited to sit in prayerful silence with God and your body, and to continue breathing the Spirit into the places that need peace and healing. I will follow the reading of the psalm with a prayer.

Psalm 139
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.

You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”

even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.


O Creator,
I wake up each morning and visit a gallery of your goodness
Look at this beautiful body who carries your goodness
who carries your purpose who carries your very image
who gives birth to your presence with every satisfying breath
I welcome your kindness toward and great care for this body you’ve created
For this body, I am grateful
For this body, I give you praise
May I honor your self-portrait in her
May I honor your self-portrait in me

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